The City Council voted 9 – 0 during its Nov. 18 meeting to approve a Commercial Rehabilitation Exemption for Olmstead LLC’s restoration project of Silos Fun Park.
A CRE freezes a majority of the property taxes on a building that is at least 15 years old and undergoing substantial repairs.
The goal of the tax exemption is to help lessen the cost burden on the owners during construction.
Donna Olmstead is the owner of Cottage Inn Pizza, which will be moving into the Silos location, and she is overseeing the repairs and building of the entertainment areas and restaurant on-site.
“We were actually looking for grant money when we came to the city,” Olmstead said. “They said this is going to be better suited as some of our taxes can turn back into cash for our business.”
Members of the city council expressed gratitude to the Olmsteads for undertaking the project.
“Thanks for using your money to reinvest into the community,” Councilman Matthew Bell said. “We’re excited to come when it opens.”
Silos Fun Park hasn’t been occupied in decades, and the costs of repairs are estimated to be at least $100,000.
“I totally support their endeavors,” resident Ted Jansen said during public comment. “It’s a great idea for our young folks to have another recreational opportunity.”
The restaurant is planning to double its current staff of 18 and add indoor activities, such as arcade games, so the community can use the venue in all seasons.
The CRE expires on Dec. 30, 2029. The Olmsteads are planning to reopen the restaurant in the new location as early as January 2020.
Councilmembers also heard from Steve Stoll during the meeting, regarding a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone at his construction project of an 18-building condominium on Bacon Street.
Stoll’s company, Commonwealth Developments, worked with the city to request a NEZ around the area.
These zones reduce taxes for new residents who move into a home or existing residents who undergo repairs.
Commonwealth has promised to invest $75,000 into the local infrastructure of the neighborhood and the NEZ tax breaks are the council’s form of compensation for the improvements of the water and sewer systems.
The only concern raised by council was a request to have a letter campaign notifying residents within the zone that they can receive tax breaks for home enhancements. Members agreed this would be a priority.
The council voted 9 – 0 to instate this fourth NEZ zone in Hillsdale and thanked Stoll for investing his money in the community.