A new hotel may be coming to southwest Woodstock near the intersection of Routes 14 and 47, which already is home to a manufacturing business that would stay put if the new development project comes to fruition, the mayor and city staff said.
Local officials have been keen on bringing new commercial activity to the land at 1525 W. Lake Shore Drive, and in 2019, they extended Woodstock’s most recently established tax increment financing incentive to the property in an effort to boost its attractiveness to developers.
They may be getting their wish, as a developer is eyeing bringing several new buildings to the property. The site sits in front of USA Printworks, a turnkey textile printer primarily of promotional products. The property has an outlet store as well, advertised by a large sign on Route 14 reading “Towels and More.”
“All of our parcels, such as that, especially on gateway areas, are of great interest to us to see if we could put some good commercial development in that space,” Mayor Mike Turner said.
A Nebraska-based outfit, REV Development LLC, is negotiating a purchase of the site’s highway-facing land, city staff said. It may put several commercial structures on between 6 and 10 acres along the road while leaving the manufacturing buildings in the rear of the property.
“The developer has met with staff and provided a potential layout of the 10 acres, which includes several commercial buildings,” city staff said in a memo.
But staff members will not disclose business names because of the ongoing negotiations, and the developer also asked that they not disclose the type of business that could arrive.
Turner, however, confirmed a hotel was on the table.
Woodstock Executive Assistant Jane Howie, the city official in charge of handling public records requests, denied a Northwest Herald Freedom of Information Act request for city staff communications about the property, citing an exemption to the law allowing records to be withheld when trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained are claimed to be proprietary, privileged or confidential.
Mike Works is listed as the registered agent for REV, according to Nebraska state records. Attempts to reach him for comment by phone were not successful.
Works in the past has teamed with Nebraska-based New Generation Construction on at least one hotel development, according to a quote he provided to the builder’s website on his satisfaction with the company’s performance on a Hampton Inn project in Hastings, Nebraska.
The Woodstock City Council last week granted the developer the ability to start tracking expenses associated with the project for potential reimbursement through the city’s TIF district program. That gives the local government an option to dedicate property tax revenue generated within the district’s boundaries to improvements within that area to help foster economic progress and job creation.
“Staff feels that this project is a good candidate for TIF district assistance due to the site’s long history of industrial uses and the potential for contamination, which may restrict development,” city staff said in a memo. “In fact, this is one of the key sites which drove the shape of TIF No. 2 to extend this far to the south.”