Madison Common Council to discuss Edgewater project - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison Common Council to discuss Edgewater project

By Jeff Angileri - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison alders are giving the Edgewater Hotel proposal another look this week.

Monday night, they had a frank discussion about how much the project will cost taxpayers.

If the plan is approved, the city would shell out $16 million in TIF funds, which would pay for a public terrace and staircase leading down to Lake Mendota -- a place where anyone could go to enjoy the lakefront.

"Sixteen million dollars is a lot of money," said Alder Lauren Cnare. "What are we getting for it -- because we as a city will be borrowing that money, everyone of us as tax payers is assuming a $16 million loan that will be involved in this project."

The money would eventually be paid back thru taxes and the economic boost a refurbished luxury hotel would provide.

Alders Monday questioned whether the developer, Hammes Co., could guarantee the revenue.

Officials say the hotel would generate about $13 million in profits its first year, but alders Monday had misgivings, saying a poor economy could impact hotel vacancies.

Alders took no action Monday night.

The whole council is set to vote Tuesday.

There are 20 people on the city council. It will take 11 votes, a simple majority, to approve the TIF money.

Money isn't the only controversy, however. The city landmarks commission voted twice to kill the proposal, saying it's out of character with the historic Mansion Hill neighborhood. It will take 14 alders to vote to overturn those decisions.

The Edgewater was built in 1948. The entire renovation project is expected to cost $98 million.

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