The City Block project developer, Weyland Ventures, has officially secured a financing commitment from Paducah Bank for the planned boutique hotel in downtown, the city of Paducah announced on Tuesday.

At Tuesday’s Paducah City Commission meeting, Mayor George Bray said this project was “a long time coming.”

“The City Block project is providing a platform for downtown growth, which will further energize the heart of our city. This project will complement the variety of city-led projects and private investments already underway along the riverfront, up and down Broadway, and all over historic downtown Paducah,” Bray said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

City Block will be located on the downtown lot bounded by Broadway, Jefferson, Water and Second Streets near the floodwall. The space is currently used for public parking.

The project features a partnership between Weyland Ventures, a Louisville-based private developer, and the city. In August 2020, Paducah city officials approved a development agreement between the city and Weyland Ventures, which specified different details and requirements. The city said Tuesday that both have been working to “complete the requirements.”

Weyland Ventures plans to invest approximately $21 million into the project, which involves the development of the boutique hotel and a mixed-used residential/commercial building. Paducah has committed $3 million to the project to construct a town square, featuring green space, a promenade and “improved public parking,” according to the city’s website.

The city’s goal is to have its $3 million investment reimbursed through the downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, per a previous Sun report.

Paducah received final approval last March for the city’s first TIF District from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The City Block project would be located within this TIF district.

According to the Kentucky League of Cities, TIF is a financing and development tool that allows local governments to capture future increases in taxes captured by new development in a specific area. After the TIF district received final approval, Paducah was given two years to meet a $20 million minimum for capital investment in the district.

Bray said City Block helps Paducah meet this standard.

“It’s the cornerstone project for the TIF district,” he told The Sun.

Bray added that there has been other development within the TIF district, and the city is currently collecting TIF invoices.

In a press release, Paducah Bank Board Chairman Joe Framptom shared his confidence in the City Block project.

“We are confident in Weyland’s vision and ability complete the project consistent with the arts, cultural and entertainment aspects of our city. We applaud the board of commissioners and other city officials for their efforts to bring this visionary project to fruition,” Framptom said.

According to the city, the first phase of the City Block project includes expanded public gathering locations at Broadway Street and Water Street, new public promenades and green space along Second and Water streets, public parking spaces and the boutique hotel, which calls for 81 rooms, a restaurant and a rooftop bar.

Construction documents for the project are currently being finalized. The groundbreaking ceremony and construction start is eyed for this spring.

In other business:

• Commissioner Carol Gault suggested the city make information about service animals and laws surrounding service animals available for local businesses to make sure they are in compliance with ADA requirements.

The next regular city commission meeting is set for March 8.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

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