Former Green Tree owners ask city for grant help
Posted: January 30, 2015
Longform, LLC, the private investor group consisting of five local individuals, received unanimous approval from the Eau Claire City Council this week to submit a grant application to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) through the organization's Community Investment Grant Program to revitalize the former Green Tree Inn, 516 Galloway Street.
According to City of Eau Claire Economic Department Director Mike Schatz, the statewide grant program will soon be awarding its second round of grants to communities who show an interest in revitalizing their downtown region. Two weeks ago, the City of Menomonie received a $500,000 grant to assist the Menomonie Market Food Co-op with its plans to relocate and expand its downtown grocery store.
"It's a very competitive grant program, but we think we have a good grant application. The city was asked to apply for a $500,000 grant, and to strengthen the application, it's recommended that the local government participate with a portion of the funding. So the city council this week approved a 50 percent match. If the state awards the entire $500,000 to Longform, LLC, then the city would match $250,000," said Schatz, who added that the city's contribution would be in the form of a zero-percent interest rate loan that would be payable after three years. After that time, the hotel owners would be required to pay off the loan in equal increments for the next 10 years.
As part of the agreement with the city and state, Longform, LLC, would be required to make the hotel property worth at least $1.5 million in taxable value. The new hotel owners, who are tentatively calling the new property the Oxford Hotel, have not announced an opening date. The new lodging property would include 30 boutique rooms, a restaurant and a bar. TBL