Council approves city funds for Hotel Elkhart renovation, partners with local developer

Located in the heart of downtown Elkhart, the Hotel Elkhart, the city's tallest building, currently houses several apartments. 

ELKHART— The Elkhart City Council unanimously approved $1,950,000 worth of funds to aid in the renovation of the Hotel Elkhart in the city’s downtown.

The city is partnering with Mishawaka-based Cressy Commercial Real Estate, who plans to invest some $12 million in the project.

(9) comments

bettermethanyou

DaveH, Will the new facility include flex space for meetings and such. If so, could or will those spaces be designed so that they could be utilized for the lesser performances during the Jazz Festival? For my money the Jazz Fest was at it's best when all of the performances were either on Main St. or the old hotel at what is now The Plaza.

DHenke

The loan is paid at 13 yrs plus 3% interest on the newly renevoated and taxed side. The base tax for the current building remains the same plus utilities and more over the Innkeepers tax. Innkeepers tax is a higher cost that the base property tax. We do not control that the County Commissioners do. It does have an effect on hotels and motels as it is additional money out of the bottom line. The more guests the more tax. At the end of the day we suck a lot of money away from businesses in various forms of tax. Then the question is to what benefit which I always think is a fair question. Cost/benefit ratio...who gains? Government does know how to waste money and it is painful to push change to limit waste but we must. Everyone has their pet projects as you know but collectively the tax is too high and spending should be minimized.

DHenke

Girl, the city money is a loan paid back with 3% interest. It is paid back by the taxes of the new renovation and they continue to pay the base tax. We question what happens in the next ten years if someone did not come along and restore the building. It would likely fall behind on taxes and be sold at the Sheriff sale. If not, taking down a building of that size would cost more than the loan provided. That was our thought process. I appreciate your question.

strtdude

Dhenke, How long will it take to pay the city in full for the 2 million and at what amounts of collected tax per year? An estimate please ? I am in favor of this since I understand the need for tax dollars stimulating the economy almost out of desperation or the private sector could do this on their own. Service economies are not what you would call the most self sustaining. But if it takes 30 years to repay the loan let us call it what it is. A big juicy 2 million dollar gift to the private sector because the loan will never be satisfied. Estimates please ?

Old Girl

While I don't have a problem with the city helping save this historic building, I do wonder what the thought process is. Almost $2 million spent to serve out of town people (again) but can't spend money on our own children.

Seven

Questions: Does the city presently own the building? If so, will they retain ownership? If Cressy will own it, will they have to pay property tax?

DHenke

The City does not own the building but a third party will sell to Cressy. Current property tax (base) will continue to be collected however the additional property tax from the $12MM renovation (new assessment) will go to pay the City back for the
loan.

Seven

Mr Henke: what is the name of the third party that owns the building now

biker1

The city council is to be commended for helping preserve this iconic downtown structure. Those of us who grew up in Elkhart remember whenever anything worthwhile happened in the city it occurred at The Hotel Elkhart Who can forget the cozy coffee corner on the first floor right across from the elegant Redwood Dining Room? On the second floor was a nice facility for dances and parties known as the Empire Room and then of course the elegant Athenian ball room on the 9th floor. Two of the hotel managers I can recall over the years were Misters Artley and Delbridge. Hopefully its rebirth will be successful.

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