The City Council has completed an agreement that could provide the developer of the 206-room Whittier Hilton Hotel with up to $1 million in city loans and financial assistance over the next eight years.
The council, acting as the city's Redevelopment Agency, approved the agreement with the hotel developer, Duffel Financial and Construction Co. of Lafayette, Calif., after six months of negotiations. The two sides had agreed in January on the city's financial participation in the $13.5-million project, but specifics weren't worked out until late last month, said Larry Minasian, assistant city manager.
As part of the agreement, Minasian said the city will loan Duffel $300,000 to make required public improvements--sidewalks, larger sewer lines, fire hydrants and widening of some streets around the three-acre project on Greenleaf Avenue between Mar Vista and Penn streets.
In addition, the council agreed to spend a portion of the 6% bed tax it collects to promote the hotel and the surrounding Uptown Village shopping district during the hotel's first five years of business if it operates at a loss. Council members also agreed to let Duffel use the hotel's parking fees to maintain the two-story parking structure.
To attract the eight-story hotel project to Whittier, the city's Redevelopment Agency donated the site, worth about $2.2 million. City officials also agreed to build parking for 300 vehicles, including a two-story structure on the hotel's south side.