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Downtown hotel eyes $7.5M rehab, wants subsidies to help

Documents say the hotel's owner would buy and install $3 million in new furniture and other equipment, plus construct $4.5 million in building improvements
Credit: SLBJ
The Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch, at Olive and Fourth streets, is eyeing a $7.5 million renovation.

ST. LOUIS — The owner of the Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch is planning a $7.5 million rehab of the facility, with a subsidy request to help.

Government documents say the hotel's owner, Rockbridge Capital, would buy and install $3 million in new furniture and other equipment, plus construct $4.5 million in building improvements. It's located at 400 Olive St.

The St. Louis Port Authority, a state-created entity, this month voted to issue industrial revenue bonds for the project, to facilitate 10 years of personal property tax abatement on the equipment, with 85% abatement in years one through five and 50% abatement in years six through 10. The move would also create a sales tax exemption on construction materials.

As part of the deal, the property must continue to operate under the Hilton brand, said Otis Williams, head of the city's development agency, St. Louis Development Corp. The owners had desired a conversion to a lower-tier brand, he said. "That was a nonstarter for any support."

Rockbridge officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

SLDC didn't immediately provide estimates for the value of the subsidies.

They're contingent, though, on approval from the Board of Aldermen, officials said. That's because aldermen last year OK'd expanding the Port Authority's boundaries to the site of a Major League Soccer stadium that's under construction, allowing for a 1% tax in the area. As part of that deal, the Port Authority said it would submit for review its own future abatements to the Board of Aldermen, said Alderman Jack Coatar.

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