A plan to construct a Drury hotel in Brentwood would require $5.7 million in taxpayer assistance, representatives from the hotel company said on Thursday night.
They presented the plan during a meeting of the Brentwood Redevelopment Corporation, a nine-member public body charged with discussing redevelopment proposals in Brentwood.
The hotel project would include 215 rooms and a 7,500 square-foot restaurant on 4.6 acres at the corner of Brentwood Boulevard and Eager Road. Meeting facilities, an exercise room and an indoor and outdoor pool are also planned for the hotel.
"It's an important piece of property in Brentwood and an extremely good developer," said John Geppert, a Brentwood resident and chairman of the Brentwood Redevelopment Corporation.
The project is expected to cost $35.5 million, said Jim Mello, an attorney with Armstrong Teasdale.
Drury asked that $5.7 million—or 16 percent of those costs—come from taxpayer assistance.
A summary of the public assistance
Drury's request for public assistance includes multiple levels:
- Drury asked for a full break of real property taxes for the first 10 years. During this period, the company expects to only pay $42,000 per year, which is the amount paid by the current property owners. That amount might go up depending on a future assessment.
- After that, for the next 15 years, Drury would pay half of the site's real property taxes, including any improvements made to the property since the project's beginning. The company would start paying full property taxes after that period.
- The company asked for half of all sales taxes generated at the hotel for the next 25 years.
- The addition of a transportation development district would impose a 1 percent sales tax on all customers. The money would be used for transportation-related costs on the site.
- Finally, a $1 per night fee on all rooms would be used to recover some project costs.
Drury requires the assistance in order to prepare the site for construction, Mello said. If the site was immediately ready for the addition of a hotel, then Drury wouldn't need any help, he said.
"Given the challenge of the site... some sort of incentives would be neccesary for someone to come in," Mello said.
Benefits to the school district
After the meeting, two members of the Brentwood Board of Education said the redevelopment would help the school district's budget. Both members represent the school district on the redevelopment corporation.
After 10 years, the district would receive a lot more revenue than it currently gets, said Chris Jones, chair of the school board.
"Long term, it's a good deal for the school district," Jones said.
Keith Rabenberg, the other school board member, said he'd prefer redevelopment plans that didn't ask for public assistance, but called that scenario unlikely.
And with this development proposal, the district could immediately see a small boost in revenue when the hotel adds furniture and other items that are taxable as personal property.
If the plan is approved, Drury hopes to begin construction this year and expects to open in late 2013 or early 2014.
Drury hasn't submitted a site plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission yet, though that is expected soon.
Discussions about the project are expected to continue during the redevelopment corporation's next meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 19.