The Hillsdale City Council approved a Com­mercial Reha­bil­i­tation Exemption for the restoration of Silos Fun Park, the future home of Cottage Inn Pizza. Julia Mullins | Collegian

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.