Negotiations are continuing on possible Community Redevelopment Agency and Downtown Development Authority incentives to redevelop the historic Pink Palace building in Downtown Bradenton.
Syracuse, N.Y.-based The Widewaters Group Inc., which acquired the building in a foreclosure sale in June, proposes to redevelop it into a 115-room Hampton Inn and Suites. But, the company has asked for grants and incentives, including among others a temporary property tax break, before starting construction.
Barry Abramson of Newton, Mass.-based Abramson & Associates. Inc. a consultant representing the Bradenton's Downtown Development Authority, says the potential incentive package has narrowed some from an initial request of $6.3 million.
“Right now, discussions are focused on under $4 million in incentives in a combination of a cash grant from the CRA, tax breaks and a public contribution for public improvements,” says Abramson.
However, Abramson emphasized that any incentive package is still open to change and would have to be approved by the Central CRA and Bradenton DDA.
Renovation/redevelopment of the building is currently being estimated at $15 to $16 million.
“One thing I've tried to emphasize is that at this point the financing means will not match the [tax] return,” Abramson says. “This is a way to assure that a new hotel in the downtown would be built, which could not be assured otherwise. This is a way to do something with a building that has become an eyesore in downtown.”
Abramson is working to a have framework for the incentives ready in time for a CRA workshop meeting in early April.