Enterprise group seeks public incentives for Truman Hotel renovation

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JEFFERSON CITY – Puri Group of Enterprises, Inc. is looking to urban renewal efforts to help with its projected $56.8 million renovation of the Truman Hotel property.

In September, the group’s application for tax abatement incentives through the tax increment financing program was rejected by the Jefferson City council. Now, the Puri Group has changed its approach and is asking for incentives under the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority program.

“It’s a different set of statutes under Missouri law," City Counselor Ryan Moehlamn said. "This program provides tax abatement but no revenue generation, so it’s a different type of incentive they’re looking for."

He said tax increment financing allows projects to capture new taxes and use them for funding, whereas tax abatement under the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority is much simpler. With the latter, taxes on the increased value of the property aren’t paid for a 10-year period, which encourages redevelopment in areas that have been determined as blighted. 

“It’s important to have a highly visible property like this one be active and to be providing economic activity,” Moehlman said. 

The housing authority and city council will have to decide whether the Truman Hotel renovation needs additional economic incentive to move forward, as opposed to a typical private development in which public money isn’t used.

“Generally, on any type of project where we’re looking at using public money to help out a private development, there’s the tension between whether or not using public money is appropriate and necessary to spur economic activity on any piece of property,” Moehlman said. 

He said the Puri Group wants to move forward quickly with the project, but the city council has no formal plan to put it on the agenda.