SOUTHINGTON — Town leaders approved a tax break for a hotel looking to build off the Interstate 84 exit ramp on Queen Street.
KARM Properties will be eligible to receive a property tax abatement for several years following the Town Council vote Monday. The company plans to build the hotel at 95 John Weichsel Crossing, a short road off Queen Street near I-84. The 10-acre parcel is behind the Hartford HealthCare HealthCenter.
The property is in an enterprise zone, which allows the possibility of a tax abatement that's partially funded by the state. 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.
Lou Perillo, the town’s economic development coordinator, said the town’s enterprise and economic development committee recommended the tax abatement plan.
Southington’s zoning application lists Mahavir Patel of KARM Properties as the applicant. The company is located in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
“He wants to invest between $10 and $12 million in our town and employ between 12 and 20 people,” Perillo said of Patel.
Perillo said Patel is also open to allowing parking for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail which runs nearby.
The tax abatement passed unanimously Monday night.
Last month, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a height variance for the proposed hotel. The appeals board unanimously agreed to allow a hotel there to be 10 feet higher than usually allowed.
Stephen Guiduce, a planner with Harry E. Cole & Son representing the developers, said building a taller building would allow a smaller footprint on the site and minimize impact to nearby wetlands.
The property is triangular in shape with the Quinnipiac River as the southern edge.
Building the hotel will still require Planning and Zoning Commission approval. Town Manager Mark 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.
Town economic development leaders have touted the benefits of hotels to Southington, saying they pay a lot in taxes and have a low impact on town services and costs.