The original plan was to redevelop the entire V & O building into a hotel and entertainment center, but today Singh indicated that only part of the old factory building would be used for the entertainment center and the rest would be demolished to make way for a hotel to be built from the ground up. He also announced that a franchise agreement was already in place with Comfort Inn, and the new three-story, 80-room hotel would be a Comfort Suites, with an indoor pool and a fitness center.
The hotel will be built behind the family entertainment center, which will be located in what will remain of the old V & O building and will include the following things:
- Bowling--4 "boutique" lanes; 12 "upscale" lanes; and 4 mini lanes. (Singh said that he would discourage bowling leagues in favor of drawing a "totally different crowd from a 30-mile radius.")
- Laser tag arena
- Laser frenzy
- Rope course
- Bumper cars
- Climbing wall
- "Upscale" arcade games
- Birthday party rooms
- Sports bar and grill
- Event space to accommodate 300 to 350 people
Having presented the project, Singh made his request: a 100 percent tax abatement on Parcel Two for twenty years. According to Singh, the hotel cannot be financially feasible without it. He doesn't seek a tax abatement for Parcel One, which he says will pay $31,374 in property taxes each year. He also claims that the whole project will bring in $704,030 in sales tax each year, half of which will go to Columbia County. The project is predicted to create 113 jobs and have an annual payroll of $1.91 million.
The question was asked if the IDA had ever done a twenty-year zero tax abatement before, and the answer was no. IDA attorney Ted Guterman suggested that IDA members should consider whether the deviation was worth the reward--the reward being a franchise hotel in Columbia County. Singh's request will be considered at the next IDA meeting, scheduled for sometime in April. This morning, the IDA passed an inducement resolution, agreeing to consider financial assistance for the project, including possible bonding.