Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saved By the Sell (For Now)

Members of the Tacoma City Council were spared more difficult deliberations with the announcement late yesterday that A.F. Evans Development had signed a letter of intent giving developers Tim Quigg and Chester Trabucco 30 days to decide whether to purchase the building from the Oakland-based non-profit developer. The Council's subsequent adoption of Resolution 36969 was by then an almost foregone conclusion.

Councilmembers nevertheless played out the suspense and ended up voting along previously drawn lines supporting or opposing Evans: Councilmembers Jake Fey, Rick Talbert, Sprio Manthou, and Mayor Bill Baarsma voted against the loan resolution while Councilmembers Tom Stenger, Bill Evans, Connie Ladenburg, Julie Anderson, and Deputy Mayor Mike Lonergan supported it. Ladenburg was the swing vote, ultimately coming down in support of the deal.

That's not the end of the story, though--not by a long shot. While Quigg and Trabucco are expected Friday to put $250,000 toward a $6.1 million purchase price for the Winthrop, the clock is ticking on the big dollar fundraising needed to make their dream of turning the Winthrop into a four-star, historic hotel into a reality.

The annnouncement of the entry of Coast Hotels as one of their partners shows that Quigg and Trabucco are rapidly gaining traction. Coast properties include the Benson Hotel in Portland and the Paramount hotels in Portland and Seattle.

Expect more twists and turns in this continuing drama--and harder decisions to come for members of the City Council.

1 comment:

  1. The vote last night was described as a method to have Quigg acquire the property.

    The resolution was drafted with a clause that would require another vote of the council before allocating any funds.

    The vote last night makes sense if we can have full assurance that if the Quigg proposal should somehow fall through, the council would take a fresh look at the issue before the final vote to see if there were better options available for the Winthrop.

    In the meantime, let's all support Quigg's restoration efforts.