Developers and local government officials met at the Hillsboro Orpheum Friday evening to discuss the plans for the Marriott hotel.
Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings first introduced Richard Spoor, an attorney from the Keating Muething & Klekamp law firm in Cincinnati. Spoor congratulated those in attendance for their teamwork.
”We have an agreement with the school district, so there’s no friction or anything with that. They were very cooperative, and we worked out a pretty good deal for everybody. They will be getting a large share of the taxes that are coming in,” Spoor said. “There’s a big battle going on in Cincinnati over TIFs [or tax increment financing]. The problem is, they did not come to an agreement with the school district, so when you don’t have everyone working together, it’s not good.
“But again, here, it’s really been a pleasure working with all the officials coming together, particularly with something that’s new like this. That really says a lot about you folks and the rest of the folks around here who are looking forward and looking for new things rather than being concerned about them. I’m looking forward to continuing to work to get through the bond issue and the development and hopefully more to come.”
One of the developers, Ankur Patel, also addressed the audience.
“Obviously Hillsboro is not the biggest city of all, but we wanted to take that risk and work with the community to bring a Marriott hotel,” Patel said. “Outside of the hotel, we started getting to development for the retail plaza, and we want to bring in more restaurants and new concepts along with the free-standing sports bar as well. This whole mixed-use development is going to be right off the highway, which is going to bring a lot of attractions and make people want to come to Hillsboro instead of driving 30 minutes away to stay somewhere else.”
Patel also commended officials for their teamwork.
“One of the things that we realized is that the people here are very well-connected. It’s not easy to work with the school board and the city and even the people holding the land,” Patel said. “Everyone coming together made this a great, swift process, and we look forward to having a ground break in early next year in the first quarter. We look forward to staying in motion and not slowing down.”
Patel also explained the proposed layout of the hotel and retail plaza. According to Patel, the plans for the Marriott hotel currently include 83 rooms; the retail plaza is expected to cover 30,000 square feet and could comprise a bank, five or six restaurants, second-floor office space, and a sports bar, which he said would be similar to Buffalo Wild Wings and could include a dance floor.
Though Patel said they’ve considered including known chains such as Panera Bread and Starbucks in the development, he said they want to give local entrepreneurs the chance to lease space.
”We would love to have any local brand,” Patel said. “We support the local businesses more than anything.”
Patel estimated that, between the hotel and the retail plaza, the development will bring 100 jobs to Hillsboro.
Discussion of bringing a hotel to Hillsboro began in 2016, when Hastings announced he was having a feasibility study conducted to determine “whether our market will support a new hotel complex and thus encourage developer investment.”
Earlier this year, Hastings told The Times-Gazette he was seeking approval from the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education so developers could move forward with a project that would bring the proposed four-story Marriott hotel to Hillsboro. Hastings said the developers approached the city in early 2018 to inquire about what he called “common incentives” typically offered by cities.
Hastings described TIF financing as a package a city would put together to help with the infrastructure on a project such as construction of curbs, gutters, sewer, water runoffs, retention ponds, lighting and anything else “that has to do with the surface or subsurface of the project.”
Approval from the Hillsboro City School Board of Education is required, Hastings said, on TIF projects that extend beyond 10 years, due to the fact the board will have to give up some future funds that are devoted to the TIF project.
In October, the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the TIF compensation agreement with the city. Hillsboro City Schools Treasurer Ben Teeters said at that time that the agreement is for 25 years.
A copy Teeters provided of the agreement said that in any year the school district “would have received property tax payments derived from the increased value to the parcels included in the exempted property … the city will pay the school district an annual payment equal to the amount of $60,000.”
At a September school board meeting, Patel said that there is a need for a hotel in Hillsboro because people coming to the city to visit family or on business trips usually stay 30 or 40 miles away.
“We believe that there’s a big need for a hotel here, and it provides some economic growth as well to the city and the community in terms of tax revenues and having a tighter-knit product onto the face of the map,” Patel said. “The Marriott product will really bring something. People will see the city of Hillsboro has a lot of growth and development coming to it.”
Also in September, Richard Spoor said the TIF proposal provides an incentive for building infrastructure that would cost about $3 million for the proposed project.
Earlier this month, the Hillsboro City Council adopted an ordinance providing for the issuance of $3 million in bonds that will help get construction started on the hotel.
The bonds, Spoor said Friday evening, won’t be a liability of the city or citizens but will instead be paid for by the property taxes produced by the development.
The multi-million dollar development will be situated on currently vacant land approaching the intersection of North West Street, SR 73 and Harry Sauner Road. Patel estimated Friday that the project will take 12 to 14 months to complete.
Patel encouraged local entrepreneurs to reach out to him. Those interested in leasing space in the retail plaza should reach out to Ankur Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.