Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Snacks and drinks were free but the hotel will cost millions


I went to the reception put on by Partners in Development and the Huelsmans Thursday night hoping to learn more about the proposed hotel and conference center. Unfortunately, we probably won’t learn too much for a couple of months, but there were a few surprises at the cocktail party.

There was a brief (less than ten minutes) informal speech discussing how the project came about and what the next stages are. Partners in Development made it very clear that they did not consider the proposed hotel and convention center a “Scrima project.” They considered it to be a “Huelsman project.” They said it three times while Mayor Jeff Scrima looked on. I’m sure he was less than thrilled.

They also made it clear that, if the market study supported the project, they would be looking for the city to become partners and investors in the project. So what was supposed to be a project entirely financed with a TIF is likely to be a project that the taxpayers of Waukesha will be asked to fund a substantial portion. It will be interesting to see if the mayor’s supporters continue to support the project now that we know that it is likely going to involve a substantial tax money contribution and that the developers are not interested in sharing credit with the mayor.

Otherwise, there were some drawings there but no specifics, no plans, no real answers. But the bar was open and they had snacks.

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