AUSTIN, Minn. - The Mower County Board of Commissioners has voted against a tax abatement for the GrandStay hotel project. Apollo Developer Craig Hoium says this is just a minor setback.
“In 2016, there was a feasibility study done,” Hoium said. “ This project fills the need for lodging in downtown Austin.”
The hotel would be four stories with 56 units.
Sarah White is the owner of Tendermaid Sandwich Shop, which is next door to the proposed site. She says over the years there have been talks about filling the empty lot.
"So in the past, there were talks of some condos, maybe another hotel chain or retail,” White said.
Although White enjoys the green space she says it's a bit of an eyesore. So when she heard about plans to build a GrandStay hotel in this lot she was immediately on board.
"For us, we know that our customer base will increase," White said.
James Benson's owns the Farmers Insurance right next to the proposed site.
He isn't too thrilled because he says the hotel would be a little too close to his building.
"I don't even know if I will be able to open up my windows," Benson said.
While this has been a hot topic issue for business owners in the area there is another roadblock funding.
The projected property tax would cost developers thousands of dollars a year. The Mower County Board of Commissioners voted against an abatement tax for the project.
Hoium says they are going to look for other avenues funds. Hoium says even though the county turned them down if they can get two of three taxing jurisdictions on board then they can go forward with the project.
Apollo Development plans on meeting with the Austin School District in July to get abatement from them.