Savoy Hotel deal moving forward

12/02/2013 12:03 PM

12/02/2013 5:26 PM

Fresh from winning city approval for major tax incentives, the Louisville, Ky. developer who plans to restore the Savoy Hotel and Grill is pursuing the remainder of his financing package, including $15 million in historic tax credits.

Following Kansas City Council approval of a $33.9 million incentive package, the next step toward financing the planned redevelopment of the hotel built in 1888 and restaurant addition built in 1903 is applying for federal and state historic tax credits and arranging private financing.

The redevelopment plan, which calls for restoring the historic Savoy Grill and renovating the hotel as a 120-room luxury property, received Council approval last week for assistance that includes standard tax-increment financing, Super TIF and help from a community improvement district as well.

The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association also has agreed to allow the developer to retain the revenues the tourism agency normally receives from hotels to help finance the redevelopment plan.

“We are very appreciative of the mayor and City Council’s support of the TIF and Super TIF,” Craig Greenberg, president of 21c Museum Hotels, said Monday. “It was the critical first step in the redevelopment of this great project.

“We’re now turning our attention to beginning the redesign and seeking the rest of the financing.”

The entire cost of the redevelopment over the 23-year life of the TIF plan, including interest, is $89.7 million. The actual construction cost for revitalizing the historic buildings at Ninth and Central streets is estimated at $47.5 million.

Greenberg said his firm had to wait for the city approval before preparing the detailed plans necessary to assure the project will be redeveloped to preservation standards required by the federal and state historic tax credit programs.

“The opportunity to have a contemporary and comfortable design with contemporary art in a historic building is a unique opportunity to create an exciting project,” Greenberg said.

It has retained Deborah Berke Partners of New York as design architect. The firm has worked with 21c on its other hotel projects in Louisville, Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark. Other projects in the works include 21c hotels in Durham, N.C. and Lexington, Ky.

Greenberg said several lenders have expressed interest in the Savoy redevelopment including some Kansas City institutions.

He declined to discuss a potential timetable for starting construction, other than to say “we’re motivated to move as quick as possible.”

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