Where’s The Hotel And Tunnel Project?
A Mini Crank
According to the Record Eagle, the hotel tied to the Garland St. Tunnel, which was set to begin this spring, is on hold due to financing process. The snag rests on a USDA loan guarantee that, according to developer Jeff Schmitz, has “complicated it to the hilt” (Record Eagle).
Despite having serious concerns over the Garland Street Tunnel, I’m in support of the Hotel Indigo project and it’s unfortunate that they are stuck in the financial mud. I hope they can get it done. However, this latest news, combined with extra costs already revealed, raises more questions about the likelihood that the money, and opportunity, is available for the City to build anything other than a long, dark, narrow tunnel.
It’s my opinion that the City remains deluded that $1.3 million is enough to build something that people will gravitate towards. And that includes, the true costs of the complete project which are more than simply the hole in the ground with a fresh paint job and lights. For pedestrian tunnels to live up to potential, they require either favorable topography or extensive, innovative design at both entry points. It’s unclear where the
$1.1 M, $1.3 M $1.4 M threshold begins and ends, and thus, if we are being honest, it’s unclear how much the tunnel will actually cost in the end.
The hotel developers had hinted that they were willing to chip in more resources to make the tunnel something designed to acceptable standards. If it comes to it, I trust their latest finance solutions include that flexibility.
Again, moving on and willing to proven wrong.