The Downtown Hotel at Carroll Creek has long been a part of the revitalization vision for Downtown Frederick, and as with any project of this magnitude, financing has been one of the most important project components.
Once the hotel and conference center becomes operational, the City of Frederick, Frederick County, and State of Maryland will have no financial responsibility for the hotel, including operations, maintenance, or future capital needs. The City will own all public-parking facilities on site, which will support existing businesses and restaurants in the area. The City of Frederick also will own the land on which the hotel project will be located. The public interest in the project makes a public-private partnership ideal for the Downtown Hotel at Carroll Creek, and the structure of this public-private partnership protects the government and taxpayers.
The multi-million-dollar construction cost of the full-service hotel and meeting space will be privately financed by the developer using private equity and bank financing—with no public funds. The privately funded project elements include additional amenities such as the lobby, restaurants, and rooftop lounge, which will be available for public use. The renovated historic trolley building (Frederick Railroad Building) will also be privately funded, and will be used for retail space to benefit the entire community. Once constructed, the developer/hotel owner will be fully responsible for all hotel and meeting space operations, with no public support. The developer will also be responsible for paying the City of Frederick monthly land rent.
Public funds for the project will be solely used to pay for the construction of public infrastructure, including land, on-site public parking, and related off-site road, utility, streetscape, and creekscape improvements. These public improvements will be funded from revenue sources generated by the project itself, including Tax Increment Financing (TIF), hotel tax revenue solely generated from the Downtown Hotel at Carroll Creek, the City of Frederick Parking Fund, and State grants.
Will taxes increase because of this project?
No. The City and County elected leadership are committed to not burdening the local taxpayer with costs associated with this project. Local support for the project will be used for public infrastructure through the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The TIF agreement will be structured specifically to ensure that taxpayers are protected from servicing debt related to the project. In the event of a shortfall, the developer would be required to service all debt related to the bonds.
What is a TIF?
The City and the County have unanimously agreed in the form of a Resolution of Support to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund a portion of the public infrastructure costs of the project. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a widely accepted financial tool that has been previously used by both the County and the City to assist with public infrastructure on large economic development projects. The use of TIF allows the City and the County to pledge a portion of future tax revenues generated solely from the TIF District (currently proposed to include only the hotel site) and provide the funding up front in the form of TIF Bonds for qualified public infrastructure needed to support the project—in this case, land, public parking, road and utility infrastructure. These new TIF district generated tax dollars would not exist if not for the development of the project. In the event that the project does not generate the funds necessary to service the bonds issued, the developer is responsible for servicing the debt. The City and the County taxpayers will not be responsible for servicing the debt.