City seeks $66M TIF for Marriott convention hotel


City officials are seeking approval this week for $66 million in tax-increment financing to help pay for a 1,000-room JW Marriott convention hotel along East Washington Street.

The Metropolitan Development Commission is slated to consider the plan, which would create a new economic development area, on Wednesday. The City-County Council could consider the move next week.

Barbara Lawrence, executive director of the Indianapolis Public Improvement Bond Bank, said the $66-million figure does not mean developers will be getting more than the $48.5 million they were promised to help pay for the $250-million project. She said the higher number reflects a guaranteed maximum amount covering additional transaction costs and possibly a debt-service reserve account.

A campus of hotels including JW Marriott would be built on land that’s now home to a 235-room Courtyard by Marriott and a TGI Fridays across from Victory Field. The $66-million will be borrowed against future tax gains realized after the property is redeveloped.

The developers, a partnership of Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp. and Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services, are still hammering out a development agreement with the Bond Bank. But that does not require approval from the City-County Council, Lawrence said.

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