Concord May Start Renovations Soon
By John Emerson and Matthew Youngfrau
MONTICELLO July 4, 2000 -- Renovation work at the Concord Hotel could start by September now that the Thompson Planning Board has given their approval for the project.
Last week, town planners approved the new site plan for the hotel, clearing the way for redevelopment and renovations to begin. The approval contained a few modifications to the plan, but Planning Board Chairman Jim Lyttle said those modifications were very minor.
Those things will be worked out with the engineer, Lyttle said. This was a very thorough presentation, and there was no trouble with the approval.
Hotel officials also met last week with the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency to begin working out a deal that would give the hotel tax funding through the sale of tax-exempt bonds. The bonding deal is in addition to the normal exemptions on sales and mortgage taxes and a phased-in property tax schedule that are routinely granted on projects involving the IDA .
What they will be getting is a better interest rate on the bonds, said the IDAs executive director, Jennifer Brylinski. Weve never done this before, but we are allowed to do it, so at this point its really a matter for the lawyers.
At the meeting with the IDA on Thursday, hotel representatives Louis Tallarini and attorney Al DelBello estimated that the bond issue could range from $90 million to $120 million to fund the first phase of the project. The first phase consists primarily of demolishing several parts of the existing hotel and grounds, renovating others and constructing a convention center and a four-star 525-room hotel.
We feel the hotel would be a big complement to the area, Tallarini said. Once this is complete, we expect 750,000 visitors a year.
I personally am very supportive of this project, said Bob Kunis, the IDAs chairman. This project has the potential to bring big dollars into the area. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
IDA members unanimously approved a preliminary inducement resolution as an indication that they are willing to embrace the project. Final approval will come later after details of the bond issue and payments in lieu of taxes are worked out, Brylinski said.