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La Salle to give Kaskaskia incentives if project OK’d

LA SALLE – The City of La Salle showed its support for a hotel that continues to set back its finished product worth $33 million.

Monday night, aldermen approved an ordinance supporting the development of the Kaskaskia Hotel, which will help the owner with financing from other entities for the 217 Marquette St. location.

About 2015, the revival was announced for La Salle’s more than 100-year-old Hotel Kaskaskia into a regional center for meetings and celebrations. In 2016, a timeline was set to finish construction and renovation by late 2018.

In April, Nathan Watson, president of the CL Real Estate Development, said his company would continue to pursue financing options for the hotel, including historic tax credits and new market tax credit. He said the goal was to open by 2021.

The finances are not yet there, he told council members Monday night, but they are “well on their way” to financing the project.

Incentives promised if project happens

On Monday night, the council approved giving 100% of the pillow tax collected being given back to the Kaskaskia for the first 10 years of operation, followed by 50% given back to the Kaskaskia for years 11 to 15 and then 25% given back for years 16 to 20.

The Kaskaskia will also get back 100% of its sales tax revenue for the first 10 years of operation, followed by 50% for years 11 to 15 and then receiving 25% of the sales tax collected for years 16 to 20.

La Salle will reimburse the developer 100% of the annual “net” incremental increase in real estate tax generated over the base year (assessed year 2006) by the developer’s project (the “property tax net increment”) for the reimbursement of the developer’s eligible project costs.

“In the long run, it’ll be a benefit for the city,” Mayor Jeff Grove said about the business.

“We’re probably giving more of an incentive to this project than we would normally give to most other projects because of the potential long-term benefit to the city with this project being larger than others,” city attorney Jim McPhedran said after the meeting.

He said that if the project works out, the traffic it brings to the city’s businesses will be substantial.

According to the agreement, the owner can’t start construction or rehabilitation later than Dec. 31, 2020, and the rehabilitation of the project must be completed within three years of commencement (unless delayed by things such as fire or other casualty or catastrophe).

‘You aren’t even going

to start on this thing’

At least one alderman doesn’t think the project will be completed.

“How many times do we have to listen to you?” Alderman Jim Bacidore asked.

Bacidore said that Watson has promised the council many times they were going to start construction.

“Over and over, we listen to the same stuff,” Bacidore said. “(Alderman John Lavieri’s) worried about parking. You aren’t even going to start on this thing.”

Bacidore then said that Watson promised him earlier in the year that the brewpub and brewery in the Maytag building at the corner of First and Joliet streets would be completed by the end of this year, which hasn’t happened.

“We’re always optimistic. We’re always working hard. We’re always setting goals,” Watson said.

He said that, more often than not, schedules fall behind original timelines and that’s just the nature of business, as well as citing the difficulty in predicting the future and there are external factors they don’t control.

“I think it’s very important that the city of La Salle supports this project 100%,” alderman Tom Ptak said. “If the project does happen, it would be a tremendous asset to the whole community.”

“I agree,” Alderman Jerry Reynolds said.

“Amen,” Alderman James Demes said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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