For three years, the man planning to build a Holiday Inn Express in Peekskill has been hearing “we have no an appetite for a hotel,” and “we don’t do new construction,” from potential lending sources. To his relief, earlier this month, he heard something different from a small bank in Rhode Island.
Garrison resident and owner of the George Liaskos, has finally secured financial backing for the $8.5 million project and is now on a fast-track to finalizing paper work and breaking ground.
The Holiday Inn will be a 76-room, silver LEED certified hotel at the corner of John Walsh Boulevard and Louisa Street. The hotel will also include an indoor pool.
“Everything that a Holiday Inn Express needs to have, we are at the upper end of it,” Liaskos said.
Liaskos started planning the Holiday Inn in 2008. Once the economy collapsed, he continued his search for financing and faced a lot of rejection. “The banks were not lending for three years, and they are barely lending now,” he said.
“This is part of life. You don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, but you deal with it,” Liaskos said. “It took a lot of work and a lot of determination. This project is not for the faint of heart. But you have a commitment and you have to follow through.”
The City of Peekskill will be rewriting a GAP loan to Liaskos for $500,000 for the project, which they first did in 2008. At Monday’s council meeting, Bernis Nelson, the city corporation counsel, explained that she wants to make sure the city has underwriting for their loan.
“Even though we were hoping we wouldn’t have to lend the half million, I think it was always thought we would because it was put out to banks saying we will,” Mayor Mary Foster said. “So it wasn’t likely bank would say no, don’t let city (do that.)”
The council also discussed the details of how Liaskos will pay a 3 percent hotel tax, which is similar to a transfer tax and applies to other hotels. They said the city would extend the PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes) agreement from 10 to 15 years.
Liaskos expects paperwork to take another several weeks and then he will break ground on the hotel. He expects building to take about nine months or less.
“But you never know. There are a lot of moving parts.”
City officials share in Liaskos’ excitement over the bank loans.
“It is exciting to move this forward and I know everyone has worked so so hard to get to this point, so congratulations,” Foster told her staff at Monday night’s meeting.
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