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Time Running Out for Hacienda Hotel Fundraising

New Port Richey has 40 days left to meet a fundraising goal of $37,800.

An effort to raise money online to aid the redevelopment of New Port Richey's Hacienda Hotel has reached only about 8.4 percent of its $37,800 goal.

The project must reach its goal in the next 40 days or supporters who have pledged money through Citizinvestor.com will not be charged.

So far, only 25 people have come forward to help, pledging $3,200 combined since March 6 when the city launched the campaign on the crowdfunding website.

“We’re still optimistic we’ll raise some money, but we still a have a ways to go,” said John Hagen, president of the Pasco Economic Development Council, which the city is paying to advise it on economic development and marketing issues.

The council launched the campaign on behalf of the city.

If the city is successful in its bid for donations, the money will pay for a number of improvements at the historic hotel, including structural repairs, replacement doors and windows, an air quality test, an asbestos survey, a mold inspection and a lead-based paint survey. 

Tampa-based Citizinvestor is a startup that gives municipalities an opportunity to raise money for projects. It features civic projects and has played host to fundraising attempts for projects all over the country, including some in Boston and Tampa.

The Hacienda opened for business as a hotel in 1927 and was once used as an assisted living facility. The city bought the property 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 Pasco Economic Development Council has given two architects a look at the building and met with a restaurant developer to see if there is any interest in doing something with the building, Hagen said. The group is now taking a survey of what residents want to do with the building. In the meantime, funding is needed to make sure the building doesn't deteriorate further as it remains vacant.

Want to donate to the effort? Check out the Hacienda project on Citizinvestor.

What do you think should be done with the Hacienda property? Share your ideas by commenting below.

Roxie Spell April 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM
From my understanding the City of New Port Richey received a "windfall" of 1,000,000 dollars. Why are they not giving up some of those funds to settle out this balance? The citizens would want that money to go to this. I do not have money, but I was willing to put in the hours with my daughter to help with the clean up and painting. Why does anyone expect the citizens to come up with the money? The city has it, the county commisioners have more, which has yet to go to The Porter family's property for the LaCrosse field in EAST Pasco. Speak up folks. They want us to pay to help but refuse to help out with a little piece of that pie.
guillermo April 24, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Before I pledge some money to the Hacienda development I would like to know first What are the city is going to do with that building?
Rob Marlowe April 24, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Roxie, I believe the city is working on some fairly large deals that could ultimately fund all the renovations at the Hacienda. I missed last night's meeting, so I don't have all the specifics. I hope to see you at the painting party this Saturday.
Alex Tiegen April 24, 2013 at 06:18 PM
The city attorney informed the council last night of tax credit incentive programs that the city could tap into to receive funding for Hacienda projects or paying off the the debt. The catch? The city would have to own the building for seven years. City council members want to explore the possibility further. Look for an article soon.
Rob Marlowe April 24, 2013 at 07:23 PM
And that is a disadvantage? I'd like to see the city keep control of the property.
Michael Malterer April 24, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Yes, Rob that is a disadvantage ;)
Rob Marlowe April 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it (Santayana). We should not forget that the Hacienda became a home for mentally disturbed folks who wandered the downtown and scared off both businesses and their customers while in private hands. As much as I am an advocate for private enterprise, we should NEVER let that happen again.
Michael Malterer April 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are correct. We shouldn't let it happen again. But those who wrap themselves in red tape won't be able to do anything.
REDMAN April 25, 2013 at 11:36 PM
WELL, IF IT IS NOT WORTH 7 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP, IT'S PROBABLY NOT WORTH THE INVESTMENT. SELL. SELL. SELL!!! MAKE A BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTER, DISTRESSED WOMEN WITH CHILDREN TRANSITION HOME. IS THE CITY PAYING TAXES ON IT? PROBABLY NOT, GET IT ON THE TAX ROLLS ANYWAY YOU CAN.

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