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Fields Hotel redevelopment project approved by St. Robert council
ST. ROBERT, Mo. (Feb. 18, 2009) — The long-abandoned Village Inn just outside Fort Leonard Wood will finally be torn down, if a redevelopment plan approved Tuesday night by the St. Robert City Council is approved Thursday by the Tax Increment Financing Commission, consisting of representatives of various taxing bodies in the county.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, St. Robert aldermen voted unanimously to approve a tax increment financing agreement that will redirect tax money collected by a new hotel and other commercial operations to the developer to provide the financing needed to build a new facility on what’s commonly known as the Fields property. The council unanimously approved a revised proposal and St. Robert City Attorney Kevin Hillman said negotiations with the developer, Fort Wood Investments, have gone well.

“I can’t say anything but positive things about the developers,” Hillman said. “It has been a learning thing for me and an enjoyable process. It is not necessarily a common on these type of projects to have good relationship between the city and developer.”

The project had been expected to start last year, but Hillman said that’s not a major problem.

“We do appreciate what they are trying to do here, and of course in the current economic situation we do understand they are not necessarily moving forward as fast as they had planned to do last summer when the economic situation was a little bit better,” Hillman said.

Mayor George Sanders reminded the developers that St. Robert leaders have been hoping for years to tear down the old hotel and replace it with a facility that will improve rather than detract from the main entrance to Fort Leonard Wood.

“We won’t have a sore eye, will we?” Sanders said.

Representatives of Fort Wood Investments assured Sanders that won’t happen, and said demolition work will begin soon.

A Tax Increment Finance Commission meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in city hall to approve the financing plan being proposed by the city.

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