This project was the rehabilitation of turning an existing, yet long abandoned and foreclosed property into a hotel and restaurant. Originally built in 1969 this property was first run as a Holiday Inn built to attract weary motorists on their way to the Keys as the location was ideal to attract travelers in need of lodging close to the airport. Over the years the hotel changed owners and names several times and the surrounding neighborhood took a hit as the superhighway diverted traffic off of nearby NW 7th Avenue and took a devastating toll on the surrounding middle-class neighborhood. With fewer customers, businesses closed, longtime residents moved out, and the area slowly began to absorb the overflowing population south of the area. The hotel was most recently run as a City Inn but no matter the name, prostitution, drugs and crime always found their way into the hotel and it became an eyesore to the local community. After the property was vandalized numerous times, it became a safety concern for the neighborhood and UDF made plans to acquire and rehabilitate the property.
UDF provided loans to the project totaling $9 million. Subordinate financing was brought to the project at very advantageous terms including interest only for the 7-year terms, below-market interest rates, lower-than standard origination fees and higher than standard loan to value. Without the NMTC, the project had previously been unable to fill the funding gap to in order to begin construction. UDF’s financing filled the gap at terms that were unavailable from other lenders.
The hotel is located in a severely distressed community with a 40.6% poverty rate, median family income only 56.1% of the benchmark, and unemployment over 1.5 times the national average. It is also located in a TIF district. The renovation of the currently vacant and dilapidated building will increased both safety and aesthetics of the surrounding community, while simultaneously increasing the tax base. Increased tourism in the local community leads to growth in industries that cater to tourists, providing much needed jobs, as well as goods and services, to the surrounding community. Eliminating the security concerns caused by the condition of the old building prior to renovation has encouraged other businesses to rehabilitate the many vacant lots surrounding the site.