- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - The Grand Hotel project in downtown Natchitoches has moved another step closer to fruition.

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1fLyH7W ) the Natchitoches City Council has approved issuing $2 million in taxable revenue notes to help finance the planned hotel, which would be built across the street from the Natchitoches Events Center.

The hotel project has been stymied by financing problems since hotel developer Warren Reuther and the city reached a cooperative endeavor agreement in 2011. Construction had been projected to begin in mid-2012.

City officials are optimistic that the project is moving again.

In February, the State Bond Commission gave permission for the city to issue $2.2 million in taxable revenue notes, but city officials decided to set the amount of the issue at $2 million.

“An additional $200,000 was originally included in our request to the Bond Commission to cover bond issuance costs. It has since been determined that these costs would be much lower, so the city chose not to finance these costs,” Natchitoches Finance Director Patrick G. Jones said in an email to The Town Talk.

Jones said it is expected that the sale of $2 million in revenue notes should be completed in 30 to 60 days.

“Of course, this is only for the city’s share of the financing, and we have no control over the developer’s portion. However, we have been advised by the developer that construction should take between 9 and 12 months once the commercial bank loan is completed,” Jones wrote.

Mayor Lee Posey has said the financing method is a way to assist Reuther in the project. The total price tag for the project, including hotel construction, furniture, fixtures, equipment and land, is estimated at about $9.9 million.

Reuther is expected to put up about $1.5 million and borrow about $6 million.

The city expects about $72,000 annually in sales tax revenue to be generated by the two-story hotel.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com