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WaterWalk hotel developers request city assistance

WICHITA — As Have You Heard? reported a month ago, hotelier Jim Korroch is trying to bring a limited-service Marriott flag hotel to WaterWalk.

Korroch isn't talking, but he and WaterWalk developers have been working with the city and are formally requesting help from the Wichita City Council at Tuesday's meeting.

In addition to asking for up to $12 million in industrial revenue bonds, they're also asking for a new kind of financial assistance.

"They're asking the city to create a community improvement district," says Allen Bell, the city's urban development director.

Last year, the Kansas Legislature passed a law to allow the creation of the districts, which are redevelopment tools that provide increased sales tax for businesses.

The districts allow up to 2 percent additional tax that the state would send back to the city.

"We would then use that money to either pay it back to the developer to reimburse the developer for costs they put into the project or use it to pay off city bonds," Bell says.

Korroch and WaterWalk are requesting the full 2 percent and would use it for project costs — not for city bonds.

"That's called the pay-as-you-go financing," Bell says.