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Downtown Marriott hotel may be coming soon
EVERETT - The probabilities are looking good that the long-delayed downtown Courtyard by Marriott hotel could start construction soon, according to comments last week from an executive for the hotel developer.
The hotel site would be at the corner of Colby Avenue and Wall Street behind the old City Hall.
Touchstone Corp. of Seattle has tried to secure $20 million in funding for the $27 million project the past few years, but now may have almost tied it all up.
“Things are moving favorably,” Touchstone vice president Jim O’Hanlon said last week, but was quick to add that he “can’t confirm anything yet.”
Touchstone is trying to lock in the last piece of funding for the eight-story, 156-room Courtyard by Marriott. When that last piece of financing is secured, the company is ready to immediately start construction, O’Hanlon said.
“We’ve have had regular conversations with them, and it appears that everything is on track for a summer start,” city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said earlier this month.
As of last week, construction permits had not been filed yet. Touchstone did, though, have a pre-application meeting with the city in recent weeks, a city permitting office representative said. A pre-application meeting is considered an important indicator that a project is being readied.
The company has already shown proof it secured $6 million in equity for the project.
The site is on surplus city land, which is why the city has a say on development progress.
Because the project was repeatedly delayed, the city brokered a deal last year to force Touchstone to prove it can finance and start construction no later than Oct. 31.
The deal allowed Touchstone to “buy” deadline extensions each quarter, with the next deadline hitting July 31.
Touchstone has paid Everett three deadline extension payments so far: $25,000 on Oct. 31 last year, $25,000 on Jan. 31 and $50,000 on April 30, Pembroke said.
A July 31 deadline extension would dock Touchstone another $50,000.
O’Hanlon couldn’t say if the financing would be finished by then to avoid paying the fee.
Touchstone was constantly plagued by financing issues during the Great Recession, leading to the company having to ask for more than a dozen deadline extensions since starting in 2008 right before the crash happened. Traditional lenders wouldn’t lend to Touchstone or most other projects, and the project was rejected from a federal tax credit program aimed at redeveloping low-income areas such as this part of downtown two years ago.

 

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