Oak Creek - After two years of discussion, the fog is starting to clear on a deal between the city of Oak Creek and developers of a proposed Four Points Sheraton Hotel and parking structure on the southeast corner of Howell and College avenues.
At last look, the city was having qualms about the $4.5 million investment it was to make in the project via tax-incremental financing agreement. Developer Greg Trapani of the Syner G Investment Group was given until Sept. 4 to satisfy the city its risk would not be great.
The developer succeeded, and on Tuesday, the city of Oak Creek agreed to a reduced commitment of $2.75 million, and agreed to a plan change that makes the proposed parking structure open, rather than roofed.
The $27.2 million project includes a 107-room hotel and 1,800-space parking structure.
Alderman Dan Jakubcyk expressed reservations about the change to an open parking structure, noting, "One of the things we came up with to placate the people was to put a roof on the property structure."
When the issue of the roof came up, however, it was noted that the people's concerns arose because of the proximity of the parking structure to homes. The new plan will move the parking structure to 250 feet from any residence. Jakubcyk then expressed his approval of the roofless structure.
Administrator Gerald Peterson said that while the project has much less risk for the city, the project isn't entirely risk-free.
Working in the project's favor, the developers secured an additional $500,000 of non-city funding, helping close a $1.6 million shortfall. Further, they agreed to provide one year's worth of real estate taxes in the form of a repayment bond, and the TIF is performing well, Peterson said.
The city's earlier trepidation stemmed from Trepani's failure to meet requirements of city staff, including providing certain bank documents.
Alderman Daniel Bukiewicz said he was glad both groups were able to find common ground, adding, " I think this is a good example of the city and developer working together. I commend both sides. It took a little longer than I thought, but I'm glad it's over. I'd like to thank both sides for working very hard to bringing this closer to happening."
The recommendation to fund the project passed unanimously and the project plans are slated to be finalized by Nov. 1. The zoning for the land that the project sits on has expired and will have to be rezoned by the Plan Commission.
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