Updated: 09/16/2013 7:33 AM
Created: 09/15/2013 8:38 PM KSTP.com
By: Naomi Pescovitz
There is a plan in the works to transform a popular and historic corner of downtown Stillwater. If approved, it would include a hotel, restaurant and retail space with a micro-brewery at the corner of Main and Nelson.
"We've got this great historic building, that could definitely use some help. It's been an anchor down here since Stillwater was Stillwater," said Ward 2 Councilman Ted Kozlowski.
The $10 million proposal to revamp the Joseph Wolf Brewery block includes more than a million dollars in tax increment financing, or TIF money from the city. According to city documents, any city advanced funds would be repaid from the tax increment generated by the property.
"It meets a lot of the criteria that we set forth when we do tax increment financing deals like this, but again it's a hotel so I'm not sure that makes sense just based on the inherent risk of opening a hotel," Kozlowski said.
The Stillwater City Council will review the proposal during their Tuesday meeting.
Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki says the proposal includes hundreds of thousands of dollars in a developer fee.
"The developer wants to take their money off the top, and they don't care if the project makes it or not, they've got $475,000 in their pocket," Harycki said.
"I think it's a great idea, if the expense can be covered, and if it's going to be a long term hotel," said Raffaele Virgillo, who owns property on the block, including restaurant Luna Rossa.
If the plan is approved, construction could start as early as December. The project could open next summer.