OSCODA – The Oscoda Township Board of Trustees took another step closer to a project that would located a Holiday Inn Express hotel in downtown Oscoda.
Township trustees were presented with a Letter of Intent to Purchase Property, signed by Steve Aldridge, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Oscoda Hotels, LLC, during their regular board meeting Monday.
Interim Superintendent Tammy Kline asked the Board to consider the letter of intent from Amerilodge, a Bloomfield Hills based company, operating under the Moniker Oscoda Hotels, LLC, to buy the Lake Street property for $350,000 to build a 90-room, four-story Holiday Inn Express hotel. The original proposed purchase price was $300,000. The company owns dozens of hotels across the region and was behind the recently constructed Holiday Inn Express on the Thunder Bay River in downtown Alpena.
Township Supervisor Ann Richards reported that based on her discussions, the township had invested approximately $500,000 over the past several years in acquisition of the property and demolition costs. Richards stated that the township was “trying to find the best use for the property” as well as cover its costs and that they were “trying to do the best for the community.”
Economic Improvement Director Todd Dickerson discussed a number of locations that were considered for the hotel that met the developers’ needs including adequate space (approximately two acres), a location in or near downtown, a site with water and sewer within walking distance to restaurants, shops and the beach.
A feasibility study included the evaluation of 14 block segments as possible locations for the hotel. Twelve of the 14 blocks were deemed inadequate or inappropriate for a variety of reasons including the cost of acquisition and not being close enough to the beach, restaurants and shops. The two blocks that were ultimately considered most appropriate were the Lake Street property and Furtaw Field. The developers stated that from a public relations standpoint building the hotel on Furtaw Field was not a good idea, although after being asked, they admitted the property would meet all of their needs.
Dickerson presented some of the modifications that had been made to the original plans including increasing the number of parking spaces available to 92 by changing access to the building. A request was made by the developers that the design include balconies at the back of the building.
Ann Richards stated that the hotel would “alter the feel of the beach park” and that she wanted “the parking lot and the beach park to flow”. The board discussed the need to improve the Oscoda Beach Park facilities by increasing the number of restrooms to accommodate a greater number of visitors. Treasurer Jamie McGuire stated that she wanted money up front in the sale to make needed improvements. McGuire suggested that the sales price should be as high as $600,000 to cover the township’s costs.
After some discussion, Trustee Bill Palmer made a motion to amend the purchase price to $400,000. The board approved the motion with McGuire, who had asked about possible deed restrictions, casting the lone dissenting vote.
According to the letter of intent, $50,000 of earnest money will be placed in escrow within five days of execution of the purchase contract. Amerilodge has 45 days to conduct an inspection of the property including an environmental assessment, review of survey and utility availability and zoning for specified use. Contingencies include soil testing, final site plan approval and a clean title to the property.