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Peekskill Holiday Inn Express Owner Secures Financing

George Liaskos expects his hotel on John Walsh Blvd. to be completed within the year.

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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Do you think Peekskill needs a Holiday Inn Express? Tell us in the comments and take our poll! 

Barbara LoPrete May 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM
does anyone not get the irony of a leed certified hotel overlooking a garbage dump! Add to that - the Peekskill taxpayer is in the hole for 1/2 a million dollars and the taxpayers will have to suck up a 15 year PILOT - am I missing something here?
SPK May 25, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Without a PILOT this hotel would not be built...speaks volumes about the challenge of business in Westchester.
paula May 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM
This will bring much needed jobs to the Peekskill area. First through the construction and then once all is up and running. This is good news for many! It will also bring in customers to patronize local businesses. This too is good news.
jo August 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
the location stinks..literally and figuratively.. its way too far out...
laurel lyford October 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
love the idea!

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