The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 18, 2013

Hotel contract tops city commission agenda

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid city commissioners Tuesday night will consider a contract with LodgeWell Group LLC to construct a new downtown hotel and parking garage.

Commissioners heard a proposal Feb. 5 from LodgeWell to construct a $14 million Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to the new Enid Event Center and renovated Convention Hall. A master development agreement was signed Feb. 21, specifying that LodgeWell would privately develop, own and operate the hotel.

The contract being considered tonight lays out more specifics in the plan, including ownership of the land and parking lot, as well as city incentives to the developer.

The contract specifies LodgeWell, through its subsidiary Enid Hotel 1 LLC, will develop a 131-room hotel and a 250-stall multi-level parking facility with first-level commercial retail space.

The hotel will be located at Independence and Maine, incorporating the facade of the Kress Building. The parking garage is planned for frontage on Maine, east of the hotel.

The contract terms under consideration tonight specify the city will lease the land to the developer during construction, and once contract terms are met, convey the land for the hotel and parking garage to LodgeWell at a cost of $10.

The contract also states the city will provide a 100 percent rebate for 10 years to LodgeWell for all undedicated sales tax generated in the parking garage retail space.

The contract states the city would be relieved of the sales tax rebate if any future tax increment finance district is approved for the hotel development.

The city will rent the parking facility and retail space for at least 10 years, with the total rental cost being equal to the cost of constructing the parking facility and “all operating and reasonable management fees and expenses.”

The parking facility agreement specifies a maximum of 131 parking stalls be allocated to the hotel, and all parking revenues generated in the facility will be shared on a 50/50 basis between LodgeWell and the city.

Upon completion of the 10-year lease term, LodgeWell would transfer title for the parking facility to the city, under the contract terms.

The contract also specifies a room occupancy agreement between the city and LodgeWell. The city will guarantee a 40 percent average monthly occupancy for seven years, and a guaranteed 30 percent occupancy for an additional three years.

Current hotel occupancy in Enid ranges upwards of 80 percent.

In other business, commissioners will consider entering into a cost-sharing agreement with Enid Park Board for improvements at Champlin Park. The Park Board has received donations of $140,000 to fund new playground equipment at Champlin Park. If approved, the cost-sharing agreement would have the city and the park board split the remaining $51,000 needed to fund the new equipment.

Commissioners also will consider a bid from Cunningham Associates for $190,447.25 to construct new playground features, benches, picnic tables and sidewalks at Champlin Park.

Commissioners will consider purchasing a hangar at Enid Woodring Regional Airport at a cost of $335,000. The 10,000-square-foot hangar currently is owned by a revocable living trust of Harold Hamm, who has offered to sell the building to the city.

Commissioners also will consider applications to fill the following vacancies on city advisory boards:

• Aviation Advisory Board, four vacancies.

• Construction Board of Adjustment, one vacancy.

• Tree Board, four vacancies.

• Vance Development Authority, three vacancies.

Commissioners also will consider a $193,850 contract with Mike Klemme to “design, procure and install artwork for the Enid Event Center.”

City commissioners will meet in a study session at 5 p.m. in the lower level conference room and in regular session at 6:30 p.m. in commission chambers of the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott.