City Leaders Want to Start Over on Hacienda Hotel
City leaders want to notify the potential developer it's closing the doors on negotiation with the firm to redevelop the historic building.
It looks like New Port Richey city leaders are considering putting an end to their relationship with a potential developer for the Hacienda Hotel.
At a work session Thursday night, city staff took direction to present the council next week with an action item so they can take an official vote on notifying Community Development Partners that the city wants to close the door on dealings with the firm.
“I’d like to close the door, and I’d like us to take control and move forward,” said City Councilman Bill Phillips.
Staff also got the OK to pursue a project to clean up the city-owned historic landmark and to put out a call for a community volunteers to help out.
The Hacienda Hotel, located right on Main Street, was built in the 1920s. It was used as a hotel for years, before it became an assisted living facility.
The city Community Redevelopment Agency voted to buy the Hacienda Hotel in the middle of last decade, and it has sat vacant since 2006, when the assisted living facility that was using it moved out.
Throughout the meeting, council members brought up the fact that the city has been working with CDP for years, and it does not have a written agreement for the firm to redevelop the historic property. It had a planned development agreement with the firm at one point, but it lapsed in 2010.
The city then picked up negotiations with CDP again and has been talking to them over the past year or so, but it still doesn’t have a new agreement. The city had been negotiating with CDP about a draft agreement document called a term sheet, but the letter says the city wants to "end term sheet negotiations with CDP, Inc., and seek other options."
Andy Ham, vice president of CDP, declined to comment at this time.
In the meantime, the Hacienda has been aging. Council members have been taking tours of the Hacienda with members of the community and getting ideas.
There is some deterioration, including leaks and broken roofs and windows, but there are steps the city can take to immediately address some of the problems.
Phillips offered some suggestions on 90-day objectives for the Hacienda. He also offered ideas on stabilizing it. The main idea is a proposed clean up in January that pulls in community volunteers and local organizations, such as Greater New Port Richey Main Street, the West Pasco Historical Society, and the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity.
City officials could go to the county commission and state lawmakers to contribute and would have six weeks to generate interest, Phillips said.
Other ideas he had were to take an inventory of the Hacienda’s contents and to check air quality, seeking grants or private funds to help sustain the building, determining goals for the city to reintroduce the Hacienda into the market and ideas for marketing the property and soliciting developers.
Fellow council members expressed support for the idea of a community cleanup of the Hacienda.
“We get it cleaned up, we could get it occupied,” said Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe.
Residents who were at the meeting also offered ideas on the Hacienda and the surrounding area.
Denise Houston spoke positively about what she heard from council members.
“I think they’re headed on a really good track,” she said.
City Council members are going to vote Tuesday on notifying CDP of their intent to end their relationship.