Butler County Times Gazette
  • Best Western hotel faces another hurdle

  • The Best Western Plus hotel development on 7th Street in Augusta has encountered another hurdle.
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  • The Best Western Plus hotel development on 7th Street in Augusta has encountered another hurdle.
    Dilip Patel, who owns the land where the hotel would be located, has reached a deal to sell the land to the hotel developer but he is retaining ownership of the frontage property where a couple of restaurants are expected to be located in the future.
    At the meeting of Augusta Progress Inc., the economic development arm of Augusta that has agreed to invest $100,000 in the new hotel, board members reported that Patel did not want to participate in a Community Improvement District that would collect an additional two percent sales tax only on sales made on that property.
    The hotel needs the CID tax because the city has agreed to return the proceeds of that tax to the hotel as part of an incentive plan.
    Patel reportedly told the developers that he believed the CID would make his job of developing the frontage property more difficult.
    This could be a snag in the process because the city was going to use funds generated from that CID to recover some of the money from infrastructure projects in the area such as the new waterline that is needed for proper flow and fire suppression.
    “That puts us in a position where the CID was part of the Memorandum of Understanding with the developers,” City Manager Josh Shaw said. “I don’t know what the effect will be until I address it with the council and see where it leaves us.”
    One option would be for the developers to buy the entire property so that the CID could be enforced on the entire parcel. However, Patel is asking $6.50 per square foot for the front portion while the developers negotiated a $4 per square foot price for their portion.
    “Honestly, our next step is to talk to the council,” Shaw said. “We will still be working with the developers and Mr. Patel to find a solution that works for everyone.”
     

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