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City Seeks Donations to Aid in Hacienda Restoration

New Port Richey is using a new online resource to raise funds to help with the restoration of a very old downtown landmark.

The New Port Richey city government is using an online fundraising platform to raise money to aid the restoration of the Hacienda Hotel.

On Wednesday,  March 6, a post about the city’s project to fund repairs and environmental testing of the historic downtown landmark went live on Citizinvestor, a “crowdfunding” website that was created this past September. 

People can go the project page and pledge to make a donation there. Donations are tax deductible.

The  Hacienda restoration project’s goal is to raise $37,800. That goal must be met within 90 days of the project going live. If it is not met, donors are not charged. 

Eight percent of that total project cost will be paid to the Citizinvestor host if the project is fully funded.

The money will fund a number of things, including structural repairs, replacement doors  and windows,  an air quality tests, an asbestos survey, a mold inspection and a lead-based paint survey. 

Citizinvestor is a Tampa-based start-up that gives municipalities an opportunity to raise money for projects.  It features civic projects. It has hosted fundraising attempts for projects in Boston and Hillsborough County.

“This is the biggest ticket project we’ve had,” said co-founder Jordan Raynor.

The Hacienda opened for business as a hotel in 1927.  The building eventually was used as an assisted living facility. The city CRA bought the Hacienda in the early years of last decade, and the building has been vacant since 2006. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city council voted recently to end their relationship with Community Development Partners, a development firm. The city had been negotiating with the firm for years on the proposal to redevelop the Hacienda.

Now, leaders are faced with pondering next steps for the Hacienda Hotel

The Pasco Economic Development Council, which is assisting  New Port Richey with redevelopment issues under a contract  with the city, has been spearheading the effort to raise money for the Hacienda using Citizinvestor.

The Hacienda is a symbol  of the history of New Port Richey,” said John Walsh, the Economic Development Council’s liaison with the city.

It plays a “critical role” role in the downtown area, which is “ground zero” for redevelopment in the city, he said. 

The Economic Development has also issued a survey asking what residents would to see for the future of the Hacienda.  The city Council is meeting for a work session on the future of the property on Tuesday, March  12 , at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The Citizinvestor page can be found at http://www.citizinvestor.com/project/restore-the-historic-hacienda-hotel.

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