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NEWPORT, Ky. - A Louisville hotel company has applied for state tax incentives to finance a six-story hotel as part of a long-planned expansion at Newport on the Levee.
Musselman Hotels LLC is asking the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority to approve a rebate of up to $8.3 million in sales taxes to be generated from the $33.1 million project, according to figures released Tuesday by the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism. The Finance Authority will consider the request at its Wednesday meeting in Frankfort.
It's the first of two approvals needed for the sales-tax rebate. Final approval could take six to eight weeks. A fact sheet prepared for the state indicates Musselman wants to start construction this summer and open the hotel by Fall, 2015. Plans call for a 150-room hotel with up to 10,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space.
A spokesman for the Levee confirms the rebate, to be spread over ten years, is key to financing the project.
"This is an opportunity to bring in people for meetings and conventions,” said Levee spokesman Pat Crowley. “They can hold their meetings in the hotel and have this wonderful entertainment center with dining, bars, night life and other attractions next door."
WCPO first reported last May that the expansion would include up to 220 apartment units and a hotel of up to 120 rooms on the block north of Hofbrauhaus Newport. It is now a surface lot that holds 323 cars.
Newport on the Levee debuted the project at the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention in Las Vegas, telling WCPO at the time that a parking garage with up to 470 spaces was also planned. First floor retail of up to 15,000 square feet was contemplated, as well as a "skybridge" that would connect the existing Levee property with new buildings to the east.
Crowley declined to reveal the project's apartment developer. He said Musselman is planning a six-story, full-service hotel. The brand has not been identified. Crowley said Musselman was selected for the project because of its experience, which includes a Comfort Suites hotel in Newport and the Marriott East in Louisville, a 4-Diamond hotel property with bourbon-themed amenities.
Newport on the Levee is an urban entertainment center that draws about 3.5 million people annually to its movie theaters and restaurants behind the Newport flood wall. The property announced a new restaurant tenant, Dick’s Last Resort, on Monday.