Stillwater Boutique Hotel Proposal Crumbles After Developers Default on TIF Contract

The Stillwater City Council has terminated a contract with Stillwater Caves LLC that would have subsidized $1.5 in funding for the redevelopment of the Joseph Wolf building on the south end of downtown.

The council on Jan. 6 unanimously agreed that the developers of the $9.4 million proposed boutique hotel project were in default of their contract after they missed a second, extended deadline to provide evidence of mortgage financing or owner’s equity at the amount to fund the minimum improvements to the building.

The developers also defaulted by failing to submit binding construction contracts for the construction of the minimum improvements by Dec. 31, 2014.

The city of Stillwater created a new TIF district after developers brought a proposal for a 35-room boutique hotel, restaurant and retail space before the council last summer. Although the contract was terminated, the TIF District can be used for neighborhood projects for the next 5 years.

If the TIF financing isn’t used, the city would be out the cost of setting up the TIF district.

The city created the TIF District as an opportunity to increase the tax base and bring more jobs into downtown, while redeveloping a dilapidated historic building.

City Council members Mike Polehna and Doug Menikheim both said they have “heard rumblings” of other developers who may be interested in redeveloping the Wolf building.

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