VALPARAISO | Two facade grant applicants were given one last chance to get their projects done in order to receive their funds this year.
The city's Redevelopment Commission voted recently to give Rohit Patel and Keith Kirkpatrick until Nov. 30 for their projects. Patel is renovating the motel on U.S. 30 for a Best Western franchise, while Kirkpatrick is sprucing up a building at 410 E. Lincolnway.
Patel told the Valparaiso commission he and his partners have several motels but have never run into the difficulties they have had trying to get the motel, which was a Best Western originally and has also been a Holiday Inn Express, ready to open.
The motel is being upgraded, and Best Western demanded additional work, he said. Those changes added $400,000 to the cost. Then the company didn't like the brickwork, and that caused the project to get behind.
Storms in June tore off a portion of the roof and contributed to damage to the lobby. The lobby was remodeled, a new elevator was installed and manual front doors were replaced with electronic ones.
All new furniture has been installed except for the beds and TVs. Patel said they were waiting for the elevator to be installed before bringing the beds in. He's already made 1-1/2 years of property tax and loan payments on the project.
The exterior work is expected to be done next week and, although he was reluctant to set an projected opening date because of delays that forced postponement of past openings, he said he can't afford to wait beyond Nov. 15 to finally open for business. One delay was to arrange additional financing.
The request for the maximum $25,000 facade grant was approved by the commission in August 2012, and it was extended two times already. The commission agreed to the latest request to have everything done and submit the paperwork for reimbursement by Nov. 30 to meet the deadline for closing out the city's annual budget.
"There will not be any support for another extension," Councilman Jan Dick warned Patel.
Kirkpatrick's request for $18,300 is coming from the downtown facade grant program.