By: Diane Benjamin
Tonight the Normal Council will be meeting for just a few minutes. The only highlight is selling 2 garbage trucks to the City of Kewanee for $260,000. Normal already bought replacements.
It is really tough to keep track of all the Uptown History and how much taxpayers money has been invested, so let’s do a short review for part.
Back in 2011 the Hyatt hadn’t been build and 1 Uptown Circle had yet to exist either.
The Town of Normal borrowed $5.1 million to get the Hyatt. The land was sold for the usual $1, so the total investment doesn’t include what the Town paid for the property. It also doesn’t include the interest paid on what has been borrowed.
The Town borrowed another $2.75 million and agreed to rent an entire floor of the 1 Uptown Circle building. There is underground parking, but only for the residents in the upper floors. The developer also gets 15 free parking spaces in the parking garage for residents.
The developer gets a tax rebate of up to $1,000,000 over 10 years for Sales Tax. With the ground floor still empty, nothing is being generated.
The rent paid by the Town goes up every year. Within 15 years the Town will be paying close to $100,000 more a year than they are now. The going market rate is immaterial, the Town is locked in. See the Schedule Rent 2nd Floor 1 Uptown Circle
Reports for the occupancy rates at the Hyatt are not good. Remember a year ago when they wanted a subsidy from taxpayers and then changed their minds? https://blnnews.com/2017/07/18/hyatt-hucksters-or-normal-nonsense/
Meanwhile no sales taxes are being generated from the first floor upscale restaurant because it doesn’t exist.
Below are the FOIA requests for all the Council actions and documentation on the above. The Town is gambling with your money, these two properties just added to the debt.