City committee approves $9 million loan to local developer

Local developer Darko Vranich approved for loan and grant applications for new hotel development.

City committee approves loan and grant applications by Darko Vranich Monday

Hamilton city council's General Issues Committee has approved loan and grant applications for almost $10 million from local developer Darko Vranich Monday.

Vranich, Vrancor's CEO, submitted a loan application to the city for almost $9 million for the new Homewood Suite Hotel, planned on a vacant lot at 40 Bay Street South. The loan is interest free over a 5 year term.

"I'm very pleased with that. I'm very excited to put in the crane next week in downtown Hamilton," Vranich told reporters after the motion carried.

General Issues Committee approved the proposal without discussion at their meeting Monday. Staff recommended the committee approve the loan in a report.

Vranich submitted the application for the Hamilton Downtown Multi-Residential Property Investment Program on behalf of 132 Main Street Inc., the registered property owner of the Bay Street South site, which he also owns.

Tyler McDiarmond, Vrancor's chief financial officer, said the roughly $9 million covers 25 per cent of the construction cost.

The 15-story, 182 suite hotel is expected to have a full kitchen in every unit and "is identical to a multi-residential building," said McDiarmond.

The property company also successfully applied for a nearly $900,000 grant from the city for the same development., also approved Monday without discussion. Staff recommended approving this grant as well.

McDiarmond said the grant is expected to cover increased property taxes and that the target opening for Homewood Suites Hotel is July 2013.