By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO The county Industrial Development Agency (IDA) board unanimously chose Tuesday to terminate its agreement with the owner of the former Paramount Hotel in Parksville.
“Originally they proposed to improve the Paramount and employ a lot of people, and none of that happened,” related IDA Executive Director Jennifer Brylinski. “... Nobody could really justify [keeping the agreement] anymore.”
The 186-room hotel suffered a catastrophic fire more than a decade ago, and plans to resurrect it repeatedly fell victim to financial problems, including a bankruptcy.
In 2004, Paramount Realty Associates purchased the hotel and more than 220 surrounding acres at auction for $4.25 million.
Since then, little visible work on the property has been done, and several for-sale signs dot the area.
A call to the number listed on that sign 917-846-9752 elicited a response from an unidentified man who said he’d have someone return a request for comment. As of press time, no comment had been provided.
Brylinski said the lack of progress in reopening the hotel basically made the IDA’s agreement “obsolete.”
According to county records, the title had been transferred to the IDA three years ago in exchange for nearly $2.5 million in property and sales tax abatements.
At the time, Paramount Realty Associates had planned $7 million in improvements and two dozen new, permanent jobs, according to an IDA cost/benefit analysis.
Brylinski said the Paramount’s owners had continued to make their annual PILOTs (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes), including the latest one of $150,628.06 for 2011.
However, the termination of the agreement means the loss of those abatements (which would have continued to 2019), the return of title to the land to Paramount Realty Associates and the restoration of the property to full taxable status.
Town of Liberty Assessor Kathy Sprague had yet to see the documentation but affirmed that the Paramount’s owners will likely get a tax bill from the Liberty School District in September, followed by the town and county in January.
Currently assessed at nearly $4 million (with a full market value estimated to be more than $6 million), the hotel could end up paying less or more than it did under the IDA.
“They [the town] are planning on reassessing the building,” Brylinski remarked.