SARANAC LAKE - Fred Roedel says he's pleased his company's plan to buy and renovate the Hotel Saranac has been given "priority" status for state economic development funds.
Meanwhile, Roedel Companies is tying up loose ends before it completes the purchase of the iconic downtown hotel from the Arora family.
"What I can say is all parties are working very diligently to move this as quickly as possible so we can consummate this deal," Roedel told the Enterprise in a Monday phone interview.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
Roedel Companies is seeking $5 million from the state toward its overall $12.7 million plan to buy the Hotel Saranac and renovate its 75 guest rooms, banquet and meeting facilities, and Main Street retail space. The project also involves construction of a 250-car parking garage.
The company's plan is one of 16 priority projects endorsed last week by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.
"We were hopeful," Roedel said. "We certainly felt it met all the performance standards of the North Country's strategic plan, so we're happy about it. It certainly improves the reliability that we get the assistance that we're seeking, and that's all good."
The council's list of priority projects will now vie against those of nine other regions around the state for a share of a $150 million pool of state economic development funds. Five regions will be identified as the "top performers" and will receive up to $25 million each. The remaining regions will compete for another $25 million. The winners will be announced later this year.
Asked if his company is waiting to know if it will be awarded the $5 million it's seeking before closing the deal with the Arora family, Roedel said, "We're trying to get a lay of the land.
"I don't know that we will hear. What we're going to do is we're talking to a variety of people involved in the process and trying to understand where we stand in it. Like I've said before, it's critical to the deal that we get this assistance. So, to the degree that we can get comfort prior to the big announcement in December, that's what we're seeking."
Roedel said his company is "pretty close" to completing the sale of the property.
"The Arora family wants to close as soon as possible," he said. "They'd close today if they could. We have certain things we've got to do under contract. We've just got to get those loose ends tied up."
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