Hotel Project Moves Forward After City, Developer Reach Deal
A Four Points by Sheraton hotel and airport parking lot, proposed for the corner of College and Howell avenues, is back on again.
A proposed hotel development for the corner of College and Howell avenues is alive once again, with a new incentive package that alleviated the concerns of top Oak Creek officials.
The agreement between Oak Creek and development group Syner G reduces the city's financing from $4.5 million to $2.75 million. The money will come through a tax-incremental financing district and be repaid over nine years.
Money provided by private investors, meanwhile, has increased. T2 Development upped its investment into the hotel by $500,000 and committed an estimated $1.6 million for a long-term parking lot that will be used by Mitchell International Airport travelers, according to a report to council members.
As additional collateral, Syner G agreed to provide a letter of credit for one year's worth of real estate taxes.
Put together, the changes "significantly reduce the city's risk" in the project, City Administrator Gerald Peterson said. Oak Creek officials previously recommended the Common Council withdraw its support for the proposal, saying it presented an "unnecessary risk" for the city and taxpayers.
"That's not to say that this is without risk," Peterson said.
"It ends up to be a balance over time. At least from my standpoint, I think this is a reasonable balance that I can recommend the council consider."
Council members had rejected calls to withdraw the city's financing, saying the proposal had great potential to create jobs and add to the Oak Creek tax base.
They wanted Oak Creek officials and Syner G representative Greg Trapani to continue working on finding a solution to the city's concerns and were pleased an agreement was reached.
"I'm happy you pushed as hard as you could to actually come away with a satisfactory agreement, at least from my point of view," Alderman Tom Michalski told city staff during the council meeting.
Plans call for a 107-room Four Points by Sheraton Hotel that will feature a full-service restaurant, bar, fitness center, swimming pool, business center and meeting facilities.
Additionally, developers are planning a 1,515-stall parking lot for airport travelers. The city will receive 5 percent of the revenue generated by the parking lot.
To reduce construction costs, the parking lot will no longer be covered. This had been a point of contention for neighbors of the development. But aldermen said the lot will no longer abut the residential neighborhood, as was first proposed, and should no longer be an issue.
The proposal was first approved in May 2011. Because of delays, the zoning has expired, meaning the plans need fresh approvals. The proposal will go through the Oak Creek Plan Commission, and a public hearing will be held.