Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Little Help From Our Friends

Grand Wayne’s hotel help sought
$2.5 million would subsidize the project

"During the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission meeting Monday, city leaders said publicly for the first time they will ask the convention center to help finance the neighboring project."

"In the initial non-binding contract with the hotel developers, the city agreed to work with Grand Wayne’s board of directors to allow the new hotel to recoup some of the room tax charged to hotel guests. Leatherman said the hotel developers will no longer get a direct rebate of the room tax, but the city hopes to use the $2.5 million as additional incentives for the hotel."

"Specifically, Leatherman said Grand Wayne money would pay for public portions of the hotel project, such as a walkway to the publicly owned parking garage. Grand Wayne money would not be used for other portions of the project, such as the baseball stadium, he said."

"Grand Wayne officials have argued the center can’t reach its potential without more hotel rooms. With more hotel rooms available, Leatherman said Grand Wayne should see more room tax revenues, as well as more money for renting space and selling food."

"Ed Rousseau, Grand Wayne board member, said it would be nice to have another hotel downtown, but he has concerns with the increasing subsidies for the project. Rousseau, a previous critic of the ballpark portion of Harrison Square, said many questions would have to be answered before he would support using Grand Wayne’s money for the project."


Anonymous said...

Just great - The 3 mile away Jefferson Pointe TIF money will not cover much - so lets go after something else "we got to balance this out from public funds" - no way can we ask any private developer to risk their capital - after all their name is HARDBALL Capital ( or, Just Try To Get Us To Spend Any Capital). John B. Kalb

Joe said...

Hey he's back! And more complaining...should have filed that lawsuit, John.

Anonymous said...

What does Hardball have to do with the hotel?

Anonymous said...

Ed Rousseau and John "B" Kalb back and better than ever!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys have been saying " It's not just about a baseball stadium" - So, are you now saying "there's not any connection between the parts of this Harrison Square boondoggle"? "Without the hotel, parking garage,Jefferson Pointe TIF, CREeD, COIT, and now the Grand Wayne Center's help we can't do this. When,if ever, do they say "It can't be done!!" I think they are getting closer to this every day of their self-imposed delay. John B. Kalb

Karen Goldner said...

(Cross posted from Fort Wayne Left)

When the hotel MOU was approved by City Council, it included a rather vaguely defined subsidy from the Grand Wayne Center. This is described by Greg Leatherman in the article you quote, Jeff, and it was discussed at the Council table. As I recall the discussion, at that time the administration said that they were not envisioning a direct cash payment from GWC to the hotel, but that they thought there might be some in-kind type of relationship such as GWC forgiving fees, etc., to the hotel itself. It was one of those "to be determined" items, but Council was very much aware that something with the innkeepers tax would be part of the package.

I believe that what we approved Monday was better - it is using public sector resources (innkeepers tax) to finance public portions of the project (infrastructure). The hotel developer doesn't directly receive any payment. I think that is a more appropriate way of handling it. Although the hotel developer does receive value from the infrastructure built by the City that supports the project, everyone will know that the money is used for construction that is required for the development.

Of course, it's all money into the project regardless of the source, and if you didn't like Harrison Square before you will probably not like it any more now. But this is just a cleaned up version of what was discussed (and approved in concept) by the legislative body a month ago.

Danny said...

Shocking, the people that didn't like Harrison Square before, still don't like it. Film at 10.