The developers working to turn the derelict Rideau Hotel into a new apartment complex are appealing to the town of Smiths Falls for financial help with two separate grant applications.
Developer Andrew Cinnamon, owner of Park View Homes, told town councillors at a June 3 meeting that he has factored the grant applications into the budget for the project and needs the funding to ensure the $3.6 million project is financially viable.
Park View has applied to two programs under the town’s Community Improvement Plan, reported Senior Planner Niki Dwyer. If successful, the developers will receive a $40,000 Building, Restoration, Renovation and Improvement Program loan, and a tax-based redevelopment grant of about $97,000 per year for a 10-year period.
“A decision is not necessary required tonight,” said Dwyer.
Following discussion, councillors agreed to defer a decision on the applications until later this month, to allow time to think about how to proceed.
Speaking in favour of granting property tax relief – the tax-based redevelopment grant is intended to offset tax increases associated with increased value of the building after it’s renovated – Councillor Jay Brennan said the developers are making a substantial investment of their own.
“That building was within a hair of being condemned,” said Brennan. “It’s a sizeable commitment that we’re making, but it’s a sizeable commitment that the developer is making as well.”
Dwyer said the applications have been reviewed by the Community Improvement Plan Committee, which has recommended granting the application for tax relief.
“I’m a certainly a supporter of this,” said Councillor Lorraine Allen, who serves on the committee. “It could revitalize the downtown.”
Referring to his application for a renovation loan, Cinnamon said, “$40,000 is a lot of money, but on a project like this it’s a drop in the bucket.”
The developer reported that interior demolition on the site is mostly completed, and that 300 tonnes of material have been removed to date.
Cinnamon, whose company has built over 100 homes in Smiths Falls, said, “I believe in the project. I believe in the town.”
Cinnamon concluded by stating that he is counting on both the renovation loan and the tax-based redevelopment grant being approved. “Please consider both those applications, because they will be needed to make it financially feasible,” he said.