Aldermen Want More Time For Hotel Project
It's been a struggle to get construction on Four Points by Sheraton hotel started, but council says proposal has too many benefits to give up on just yet.
Oak Creek aldermen aren't ready to give up on a proposed Four Points by Sheraton development just yet.
The council has given developer Greg Trapani 45 more days to meet with the city and try reaching an agreement so that Oak Creek keeps its financial incentives on the table. Aldermen went against the recommendation of Oak Creek city staff, which in the face of the developer's ongoing financing struggles, had recommended the council withdraw its support for $4.5 million in city financing.
Council members said the proposal planned for the corner of College and Howell avenues would bring many positives and want to give the developer more time to make it happen.
"Given the scope of this project, the potential of this project, we owe it to give him" more time, Alderman Dan Jakubczyk said.
The first phase of the development, which includes the Sheraton hotel, business center and meeting space, a full-service restaurant and a 1,830-space parking lot for Mitchell International Airport travelers, is projected to create 80 jobs and $21 million in additional tax base.
Oak Creek would also receive a 5 percent share of the parking lot revenue.
'More question marks than less'
When it was approved last year, the Oak Creek Common Council pledged $4.5 million through a tax-incremental financing district.
None of that has yet been spent, however, as the developer has been plagued by financing problems and unable to get construction started. In April, a foreclosure suit was filed against Trapani Family Properties LLC and Synerg Oak Creek LLC.
City staff members say they have invested a considerable amount of time in working with developers and have been frustrated over delays.
"This is a project that the staff and the council wants to succeed," City Attorney Larry Haskin said. "It provides a number of benefits that, if it moves forward, are very attractive.
"The concern is that the staff has given Mr. Trapani deadline after deadline to meet and he's failed to do that. ... Based upon what we see now, this puts the city in an unnecessary risk position, and I think we've seen examples from surrounding communities where TIFs fail, and then the taxpayers are asked to support the failing TIF, and that's what we're trying to avoid."
Haskin said the city is also concerned about having to spend that money up front, as opposed to after the facility has been constructed.
"It seems that as time goes on, there's more question marks than less," Haskin said.
Trapani did not appear at the meeting and could not be reached for comment.