SOUTHINGTON – Hotel owners are eyeing a property off Queen Street near Interstate 84 and are looking for a tax abatement to open in Southington.
KARM Properties is interested in a tax abatement for development at 95 John Weichsel Crossing, a small road off Queen Street near the Hartford HealthCare HealthCenter and just south of the I-84 ramps.
The property is in an enterprise zone, which allows the possibility of a tax abatement that’s partially funded by the state.
Mark Sciota, Southington’s town manager, said the council could vote to send the tax abatement question to the Southington Enterprise Zone and Economic Development Committee (SEED).
Even if the council and SEED were in favor of the idea, building a hotel would require Planning and Zoning Approval. Sciota said hotel owners want to know if they’ll get the tax abatement before taking on the expense of drawing up plans and filing town applications. He said it’s early in the process.
“There’s an applicant investigating putting in a hotel there,” Sciota said.
The seven-year tax abatement reduces the property tax burden by 100 percent the first year, declining gradually to zero by the end of the program.
Such tax abatements help encourage development, according to town officials. Earlier this month, a similar tax break was given to Anthony Properties, a Texas-based developer building a $100 million residential and retail project on West Street.Boost to other businesses
Barbara Coleman-Hekeler, Southington Chamber of Commerce president, is also on the SEED committee. While she didn’t want to comment as a committee member without seeing the tax abatement request, she said as a chamber director the addition of a hotel is usually welcome by area businesses including other hotels.
Southington’s location and attractions draw people from the state and region, she said, so it’s not surprising that a hotel was looking to start up. That might even be welcome to other hotels that at times struggle to keep enough rooms available.
“I know that all of our hotels on West Street are super busy in Southington,” Coleman-Hekeler said. “They work very closely together so that if there’s an overflow for a specific time period, they feed into each other’s hotels.”
“As a chamber, if it’s a business that’s coming to town to not just conduct business here but to be supportive of everything that’s here as well, that’s the main focus of everything that we are as a chamber,” she said.
KARM Properties could not be reached for comment Monday.