The city of Evansville has cleared another financial hurdle in the process of building a $74 million downtown convention center hotel. The bonds to finance the city's portion of the project have received an “A” rating from Standard & Poor’s, which could allow construction to begin as early as the end of the month. November 3, 2014

News Release

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The City of Evansville has received positive financial news related to the downtown convention hotel. Standard and Poor's, an international credit rating and financial marketing intelligence company, has reaffirmed the City's “A” rating on Economic Development Revenue Bonds to finance the project. The action allows the City to move forward issuing the bonds within the next few weeks.

“This is very good news for the hotel project as it clears the way for construction to begin in late November or early December,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “Barring major weather delays, with an estimated 16-to-18 month construction timetable, the hotel should open for business by summer 2016.”

City Controller Russell Lloyd, Jr., CPA, said S&P was required to reexamine city finances because bonds for the hotel and parking garage were not issued within six months of the previous bond rating report. The city intends to issue $20 million in bonds to finance a parking garage and ancillary buildings, and provide a subsidy to the developer. The developer and private investors will finance the remainder of the $74 million hotel and convention center, which includes a skywalk linking the hotel to the Ford Center and Old National Events Plaza.

In its most recent report, S&P analysts said City finances remain “stable” and the rating reflects the strength of the pledge of County Option Income Tax (COIT) revenues. However, it is the City's intention to use Riverboat Gaming Funds, TIF funds and Food and Beverage Tax to fund the bonds. “Support (for) our opinion on the revenue stream is the area's strong economy, which has a diverse tax and employment base pulling from a large area,” S&P analysts said.

Source: The City of Evansville

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