Minnesota city considering hotel-conference center procurement
Minnesota – After discussing a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of a hotel connected to a downtown hospital, Willmar Community Development Committee members instructed staff to continue conversations with hospital officials.
Rice Memorial Hospital
City staff envision a boutique hotel-conference center connected by skyway or tunnel to the city-owned Rice Memorial Hospital, which is operated by a for-profit health-care system. According to the draft RFP, the city is looking for proposals to develop one of six parcels adjacent to the hospital.
The vision is for a hotel to cater to people who are visiting or supporting patients at the hospital, people who were on either end of receiving treatment or receiving day treatments, and longer-term housing for visiting medical consultants and other professionals.
As part of the city’s Renaissance Zone – a dedicated effort to provide incentives to revitalize the downtown and its surrounding area – the project may include tax abatement or tax increment financing, flexible zoning regulations, free permits, free sewer access, free water access, reduced utility connection fee, parking requirement reductions, and free city-owned land.
The new Willmar Renaissance Zone is a five-year pilot program intended to encourage investment, job creation, development, creativity, and vibrancy in the designated area. The zone operates as a new zoning overlay district encompassing the Central Business District and adjacent areas.