Willey: Elements in place to make RTC plan workPublished 11:08am Friday, June 14, 2013
Ray Willey, of Historic Kirkbride, LLC, spent nearly an hour Wednesday presenting a plan for the Regional Treatment Center and fielding questions from the Fergus Falls City Council.
At the end of the night, it was Historic Kirkbride’s estimated $41.4 million plan for a hotel, restaurants and apartments that the council chose for redevelopment of the RTC.
“I look forward to moving forward,” Willey said, “making all those elements work together.”
The estimated $41.4 million project is broken down into five funding sources, which are also rough estimates: EB-5 loan (which may be replaced in part with new market tax credit funding), $23.5 million; HUD loan (apartments), $5.4 million; state historic rehabilitation tax credit, $4.5 million; federal historic rehabilitation tax credit, $4 million; city/state bond funds, $4 million.
The tax credits are available for the project as a result of the building’s historic designation and are non-competitive programs. Unlike the make-it-or-break-it tax credits in Willey’s initial proposal to the council, the HUD loan is not competitive with other applications. In addition, the apartment component of the project is the most easily financed and would likely be the first phase completed.
Historic Kirkbride’s plan would create roughly 190 new and permanent jobs (not including the temporary construction jobs), according to Willey. His breakdown was about 140 jobs (2/3 part time) at the restaurants, 40 jobs at the hotel and 10-14 for other staff like an apartment manager and maintenance crew.
The plans includes about 120 first-class rooms in the hotel, which would be located to the east of the Kirkbride tower. A sports bar, pizza parlor, BBQ joint and coffee/bagel eatery are planned, with the potential for a couple of other restaurants as well. About 60 market-rate apartments would be located to the west of the tower.
Hotel guests would have both an indoor and outdoor pool/spa option. Plans also include an outdoor patio area with cabanas, an outdoor clubhouse, fireside conversation ring, business center, conference room and lounge.
The hotel lobby in the tower would be the grand entrance, with a museum filled with history of the Kirkbride, a lobby bar and office space.
“We think it would be ideal for an entry point,” Willey said.
The 60-unit apartment area would include a business center, lounge with Internet access, laundry, clubroom, outdoor patio area with a fireside conversation ring.
The gymnasium would also offer a fitness center with various therapy and training rooms. The only demolition plans Historic Kirkbride has would be to remove the newer administration building.
It’s the idea of Historic Kirkbride that the finished complex will be a destination attraction. In an effort to make that happen, it plans to hire a marketing specialist “to draw people in to the town of Fergus Falls,” Willey said.
The “suggested timeline” Willey provided indicated a development agreement with the city would be completed this fall, city work and bidding from the fall until April 2014, the design phase during that same period until May 2014, renovations July 2014 to September 2015, with a grand opening tentatively set for December 2015.