After years of battle with city officials and residents, developers of the proposed Edgewater Hotel project issued a last push to have city financing and support secured by the end of the year to allow the project to continue.
In a letter to Madison City Attorney Michael May, Edgewater real estate agent Michael Green said he has been disappointed by the city’s lack of effort to push the project forward.
“The [Edgewater] developer has worked in good faith and expended significant amounts of time and money since May of 2010 to satisfy all 75 conditions of approval,” he said.
After the Madison City Council voted down a proposal to provide the Edgewater project with $16 million to fund the project, the developers were forced to pursue alternate options.
Pending city collaboration, Green said, there are two remaining alternatives to the originally proposed funding.
These include the city funding the TIF loan with an appropriation from the General Fund of the City and the city finding an outside short-term source for borrowing before the end of the year, he said in the letter.
Green said he and the Edgewater developers believe the project could be approved by years’ end, but feel the city is not doing its part in pushing it forward.
“The City is claiming there is insufficient time to complete the TIF Loan Agreement,” he said in the letter. “We disagree. As we were this past summer, we are prepared to immediately commence work to complete and execute the TIF Loan Agreement.”
Green added the city has made a commitment to the developer.
“The developer expects the city to work in good faith in meeting its prior commitments with respect to the project, and anything less is nothing but an attempt by the city to avoid its obligations,” he said.
In a letter to Green, however, May said the developers had not fulfilled all of their obligations to the city.
May said the city still requires construction contracts, proof of condominium pre-sales, proof of non-TIF financing and negotiations of the terms of the TIF disbursement agreement.
May also said the city would require proof of financing. The project requires $74.5 million in financing, only $33.5 million of which is included in a commitment letter. Therefore, the city requires details for the other $41 million, he said.
“It is not clear how that lending [of the $33.5 million] will occur, which complicates the city’s ability to prepare a TIF financing agreement,” he said. “There is [also] no evidence of how the remaining $41 million is to be financed. The city needs adequate evidence of that.”
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the current state of the project indicates a lack of will on the part of the city.
“If there’s a will to get this accomplished within this year, I believe the city would have been able to accomplish that,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a will from the city to get it completed this year.”
Resnick said he believes approval by the end of the year is unlikely.
“All the conversations appear to be very hostile,” he said. “The only way this goes through is if the developer comes up with a new proposal at a lower dollar amount, but I don’t know if the developer will take on that risk.”