COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council unanimously approved a tax-increment-financing redevelopment agreement for the Regency Hotel on Monday.

What happened: Robert Hollis, attorney for the Broadway Lodging LLC project, gave a presentation about the redevelopment. The presentation mapped out what the hotel would look like from every angle, and highlighted that the necessary criteria and guidelines for tax-increment financing approval were met.

Tax-increment financing is a tool local governments may use to help redevelopment projects that need economic assistance.

There was public discussion from citizens supporting the project and praise from Mayor Bob McDavid, First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz, Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe.

While talking about how many cities have suffered in this economy, Nauser said she was excited that Columbia is still strong.

“We have people that are wanting to invest downtown ... I’m happy to see our community and our downtown thriving, and I hope that continues," she said. "I think this will be the catalytic project to move this forward.”

Cost: Developer Dave Parmley, owner of Broadway Lodging LLC, will be reimbursed $3.2 million over time. The total project cost is estimated to be $17.5 million.

With tax-increment financing, property taxes are frozen based on the assessed value of the property before redevelopment. Taxes that would normally result from the increased property value are used to help offset the developer's costs. A portion of the sales tax is also funneled back into the project.

The city is not responsible if the project fails.

“The city is not at risk for this project, or any TIF project,” Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said.

What’s next: St. Romaine said Parmley needs to secure financing for the construction phase of the project before he will be reimbursed. Financing must be secured by Dec. 31.

“Next steps will be getting the architect engaged fully to start drawing plans,” Parmley said.

After the drawing plans, Parmley said the next steps will be finding a hotel franchise and bidding for the project.

St. Romaine also said the city has negotiated a deal with Parmley to purchase land for a parking garage on Short Street. The price was set at $1.25 million. The City Council will vote on the purchase at its March 7 meeting.

With the agreement, Parmley will pay the city to lease 100 spaces for his customers.

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