Hotel financing is closer to a go!

The local media is reporting that financing is almost in place for the 250 room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, part of Harrison Square.  The site, at the southwest corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street is ready and waiting for construction to begin.  As you may know, the hotel is the linchpin for repayment of the bonds the City secured for Harrison Square construction.  It had been stated earlier that construction of the hotel would take between 15 and 16 months.

From the Journal-Gazette:

[…] Deno Yiankes, White Lodging president and chief executive officer for investments and development, said Tuesday his company has oral commitments for the financing of his company’s planned downtown Courtyard by Marriott.

Yiankes said his company doesn’t have signed agreements yet with all the banks, but if the negotiations of final contracts go as planned, the money could be available and construction could start by early June.

[…] The Merrillville developer secured its main creditor several weeks ago: Centier Bank, also of Merrillville. Yiankes said the other commitments came after Mayor Tom Henry, consultant Steve Brody and other city officials brought several local banks to meet with White Lodging last week.

Yiankes said he anticipates three or four Fort Wayne banks being involved with a portion of the project’s financing. Before the national economic collapse, it would have been unusual to have so many banks involved in a $20 million deal, he said.

[…] Michael Coffeen, Grand Wayne director of sales and marketing, said he was cautiously optimistic about the White Lodging news but would likely wait before using the hotel in his sales pitches. He said he knows of about 35 events that would come to Fort Wayne if the hotel existed, and one has committed to coming in 2011 if the hotel is finished by then.

“Right now I have to just wait and see for the ground to be broken before I can do anything,” he said.

[…] Greg Leatherman, Fort Wayne’s executive director of redevelopment, said he was confident the much-delayed development would happen.

“We chose a great partner in the hotel development with White Lodging,” he said. “They liked our downtown. They liked Harrison Square.”

Leatherman added that although the building permit for the hotel is for a $20 million project – it was touted as a $35 million hotel – the hotel’s quality hasn’t been diminished. Construction prices have come down because of the recession, he said, and the $35 million price tag includes items to be in the hotel that aren’t part of construction costs.

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