COLUMBIA — The potential redevelopment of the Regency Hotel and its value to downtown Columbia was discussed at a Tax Increment Financing Commission meeting on Monday.
Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said the redesign of The Regency Hotel Downtown could be "a catalytic project for development in the North Village Arts District."
Commission member Nikki Krawitz said a college town like Columbia was missing a boutique hotel in the downtown area. The Regency, at 1111 E. Broadway, could become a Hotel Indigo franchise if the TIF project is approved.
"Urbana-Champaign has one, and Bloomington, Indiana. It's actually strange that we don't have one," Krawitz said about boutique hotels. The University of Illinois is located in Urbana-Champaign and Indiana University is located in Bloomington.
Both college towns have a Hilton Garden Inn, part of another boutique franchise.*
The Regency developer, Dave Parmley of Broadway Lodging LLC, is currently requesting tax-increment financing assistance of $3.2 million. The total budget for the project is estimated at $17.5 million.
The next step in the TIF evaluation process is a public hearing, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 4.
Tom Rose, the Columbia school district's representative, said the public might have a hard time accepting the TIF request, in light of the one approved for Tiger Hotel.
The city's first TIF project was the redevelopment of Tiger Hotel, also located downtown, which is ongoing.
The commission reviewed minor modifications in Broadway Lodging's plan documents. In addition to Parmley, a consultant to Broadway Lodging, Pat Nasi, and the company's attorney, Robert Hollis, also attended the meeting.
The new hotel's effect on parking was discussed. Parmley said the parking area adjacent to the existing hotel serves its current needs. He said the proposed plan would increase the existing number of hotel rooms by 12, which would not affect parking significantly.
A future residential complex that could be developed at College and Walnut streets would need a parking garage, St. Romaine said. In that case, he said the city might purchase the additional land from Parmley to develop the garage.
The TIF amount would be regained through sales tax on food service and beverages but not on room rates, according to the developer's cost-benefit analysis document.
Following the public hearing, the TIF Commission will pass on its recommendation about whether to approve the financing to the City Council. The council will then vote on the project.