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Four Points Sheraton developer given 45 days to get plan in place

City considers pulling financial backing

June 11, 2012

Oak Creek - The developer of a proposed Four Points Sheraton hotel has 45 days to satisfy city officials and staff members that the project is viable and on course before facing the possibility of losing city-backed financing for the endeavor.

The Common Council gave preliminary approval in May 2011 to provide $4.5 million in tax-incremental financing to the $27.2 million project, but discussed withdrawing the support June 5 after learning developer Syner G Oak Creek was involved in a foreclosure suit.

The local project, which includes building a 107-room Four Points Sheraton hotel and covered 1,830-space parking lot on the southeast corner of Howell and College avenues, has ran into multiple problems throughout the planning process, officials said.

The project is headed by Greg Trapani of Syner G Oak Creek. Trapani has failed to meet multiple requirements laid out by city staff, including not having provided certain documents and notes from the bank.

Trapani also has asked for multiple extensions for the project.

City Attorney Lawrence Haskin said the staff and Common Council want the project to succeed.

"It provides a number of attractive benefits, such as the parking revenue, the hotel, numerous jobs, and the ability to have a hotel and conference center at this important location," Haskin said. "But the staff has spent more time on this TIF project than any other."

Tax-incremental financing allows a developer to receive money from the community and pay it back as value is added to the property. Money that would otherwise be collected in taxes on that added value is targeted to the repayment, rather than the general tax roll.

The main concern among aldermen is whether the project ultimately will be able to repay the city and taxpayers.

"We don't want the taxpayers of this community to be put at risk," Haskin said.

Alderman Daniel Bukiewicz said he wanted to take time to make the right decision.

"This is a multimillion dollar deal, and we shouldn't be too fast to OK it or pull the pin on it," Bukiewicz said. "There are 80 jobs alone in the first phase of development."

After much debate, the council decided to give Trapani 45 days to get his plan together. During this time, the city administrator, the city planner, the finance director and other staff members will sit down with Trapani and go over their requirements for the project.

"If Trapani cannot meet our conditions by the 45-day deadline, then we will shut the project down," Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.

No representative from Trapani or his group was present at the meeting.

NEXT STEP

WHAT:Common Council's final decision about Four Points Sheraton project

WHEN:7 p.m. July 17

WHERE:Oak Creek City Hall, 8640 S. Howell Ave.

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