Schaumburg trustees have unanimously recommended the village's endorsement of a Cook County tax incentive to save a two-hotel project that has already been approved but is financially stalled.
In March, the trustees approved a Holiday Inn and adjoining Holiday Inn Express at 30 N. Martingale Road for what would be the village's 31st and 32nd hotels. The 5.3-acre site has been vacant since the former farm it belonged to was annexed by Schaumburg 30 years ago.
Though developers from Chicago-based EquityRoots were not seeking financial incentives last spring, they said the funding scenario for the locally backed project has changed and is now dependent on such help to move forward.
Cook County's Class 7C property tax incentive for commercial properties is relatively rare compared with the Class 6B incentive used to breathe new life into industrial properties, Schaumburg Village Manager Brian Townsend said. In the only two instances in which Schaumburg has endorsed a 7C incentive, the requests were denied by the county.
However, in both those cases the incentive was sought for the renovation of existing buildings, and Schaumburg's reputation as an economic powerhouse may have worked against county officials recognizing a need, Townsend said. In this case, the incentive is sought for a site no developer has touched for 30 years.
Part of the hardship EquityRoots claims is the 90-day delay its proposal faced while Schaumburg had a consultant confirm the 182 additional hotel rooms wouldn't oversaturate the local market.
Village staff believe EquityRoots' request likely meets two of the county's criteria regarding the decline of the site's property value, but does not satisfy two others in regard to the project's current financial viability.
Trustees ultimately decided to give county officials the opportunity to consider the request, particularly as it's the project's current lack of financial viability that's triggering it.
Though trustees Marge Connelly and George Dunham expressed skepticism about the request at a smaller committee meeting last month, they changed their minds at Tuesday's committee of the whole meeting.
"Very reluctantly," Dunham added with his "yes" vote.
Trustees added an internal condition to their consent -- the project must be completed by June 30, 2019.