Hillsboro moving ahead with hotel, other projects

Former Parker Hotel lot going up for sale soon

By McKenzie Caldwell - mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com



HILLSBORO — The city of Hillsboro is continuing forward with its parks projects and economic development plans, including finalizing plans for the Marriott Hotel project and putting the former Parker Hotel lot up for sale, safety and service director Brianne Abbott told The Times-Gazette.

The city received cost estimates for the Marriott project from the developers this month. As of Tuesday, Abbott said the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) attorney, Richard Spoor, is preparing an agreement for the infrastructure project that will begin construction for the hotel.

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. At a developers’ meeting in late December, developers said they expected to break ground in spring 2020. Ankur Patel, one of the developers, estimated that the project will take 12 to 14 months to complete.

As of December 2019, Patel said the plans for the hotel included 83 rooms and a connected retail plaza, which Patel expected to cover 30,000 square feet and which could comprise a bank, five or six restaurants, second-floor office space, and a sports bar that could include a dance floor.

Though Patel said he and other developers considered including known chains such as Panera Bread and Starbucks in the development, they also want to support local entrepreneurs.

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 then-mayor Drew 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.”

Former mayor Hastings described TIF financing as a package a city would put together to help with the infrastructure on a project such as the 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.”

In October 2019, the Hillsboro 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 was for 25 years.

Last December, 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 at the December meeting, 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 hotel project is not the only economic development project in Hillsboro.

According to Abbott, the former Parker Hotel lot and the old firehouse on Governor Trimble Place will be for sale in the near future.

“The city is transferring the deed to the Hillsboro Area Economic Development Corporation to market that property to a potential business,” Abbott said.

The minimum bid on the former Parker Hotel property will be $50,000.

Though the city is still working to finalize details, the old firehouse property will also be marketed to potential businesses.

According to Abbott, these potential business owners must have business and development plans.

In the last few months, the city created an economic development department headed by Kirby Ellison and Lauren Walker, who will focus on both bringing in and retaining businesses by connecting potential and existing business owners with funding and other resources. The department will also help promote these businesses.

In addition to applying for additional grants to transform some of the city’s old railroad beds into walking paths, city employees and subcommittee members hope to be able to install disc golf baskets in Liberty Park this winter.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

Former Parker Hotel lot going up for sale soon

By McKenzie Caldwell