PILOT approved for Hotel Syracuse project

Published 08/19 2014 11:31AM

Updated 08/19 2014 01:23PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency voted Tuesday to grant a 14-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes or PILOT agreement with the developers of the Hotel Syracuse.

The developers make a payment based on the property's current valuation, instead of taxes as the renovations increase what the hotel is worth. The agreement would in effect cut $5 million dollars from the hotel’s property tax bill over its first 14 years of operation.

The developer says he cannot make the project work without a PILOT agreement.

Developer Ed Riley acquired the downtown property earlier this year when SIDA used eminent domain to seize the property. It has been sitting vacant and deteriorating for the last ten years.

Riley hopes to begin work in the fall on stabilizing the building. He hopes to restore the building’s lobby and ballrooms to their 1920’s appearance, and is working with architects to renovate the hotel’s rooms and bring them up to contemporary standards.

The PILOT agreement also has provisions requiring a minimum of 100 employees and the use of local workers in the renovation.

Last month, Riley told Localsyr.com his goal is to get the job done by the first part of 2016.

Riley estimated it will take about $60 million dollars to renovate the Hotel Syracuse. He says grants, most already committed to the hotel, will help cover much of the cost, along with historic tax credits.

The developer says the remainder of the funding, as much as $20 million dollars will come from conventional financing.

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