10/22/2014

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Yakima city council supports plans for downtown boutique hotel

Yakima city council supports plans for downtown boutique hotel
YAKIMA, Wash. -- City council voted unanimously to continue with plans to turn the Great Western building into a boutique hotel.

The city will lend $60,000 to Joe Morrier's JEM development for a consultant on the project. Yakima is trying to help get Morrier approved for a million dollar HUD loan toward the remodel.

The federal housing money needs to be assigned to a project by the end of May. Only certain projects qualify.

Joe Morrier is the same man who owns the empty Yakima Mall downtown.

Folks expressed their opinions about him now asking the city to help with this new project.

β€œHe's the only one that has stepped up to put his name out there to create these new jobs and make something happen. Nobody else has done that. Nobody else has stepped up to get this money,” Mann said.

"I honestly believe that Mr. Morrier was instrumental in destroying the mall. He made it very difficult for the tenants of the mall,” Turner said.

Council members also had some concerns about the project before voting. If Morrier is approved on the loan but defaults, the city would be responsible for the payments.

Council said they believe the hotel will bring jobs and high-end tourists to the city.
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