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TIF Plan Will Help Developers Build New Waterfront Hotel

Updated: 04/23/2014 10:25 PM
Created: 04/23/2014 9:23 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

A new hotel near Bayfront Park is one step closer to becoming a reality.

"The TIF plan was the last piece that was needed for the financing to come together," Co-developer Alex Giuliani said.

Giuliani and Sandy Hoff have been working on the Pier B project, a new hotel and resort. The Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for the project.

"Had there been the possibility this project could have financed itself, it would have happened by now," Assistant City Attorney Bob Asleson said.

The 26-year plan means tax money will go back into the project. After interest, they'll have about $3 million to help pay for the redevelopment.

The hotel will be built where the old Lafarge cement plant was. The site needs a lot of work which qualifies it for the TIF plan.

"We have a tremendous amount of expense just to get the land back to even ground," Giuliani said.

"That pier is a man-made structure and it has deteriorated significantly," Hoff said.

While the over $29 million hotel and resort is a big investment, Hoff said the entire community will benefit in the end.

"We're creating a revenue generating, sales-tax generating property for our community," Hoff said.

Asleson said other hotels in Canal Park used TIF plans to get started.

The city council still needs to approve the Pier B project plans.

Hoff said he hopes to break ground sometime this summer and construction will take about a year.

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