Interested parties in line to buy former Philips Hotel|
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
PHILIPSBURG - The Philips Hotel and 1921 Restaurant closed their doors a couple of weeks ago, falling on hard times and not being able to stay in business.
Owners Tony De Boef and Faith M. Lucchesi currently have the facility up for sale.
A spokesperson for the hotel said there are interested parties, but could not provide additional information until a sale is finalized. It was also noted the interested parties intend to use it for some form of housing.
Many questions have been circulating on a grant the hotel owners received, totaling $1 million. People have asked if the money would have to be returned.
According to Sue Hannegan, assistant director, Centre County Planning and Community Development Office, the money does not have to be reimbursed.
"They have received $910,000 so far," Hannegan said. "They have submitted the proper invoices, and they've been reimbursed."
Hannegan said the way the grant works, if De Boef and Lucchesi spend $2 million then they receive $1 million back.
They only get the reimbursement once the invoices are in and they get reimbursed in increments, not in a lump sum.
She said it is typical that an audit would be done on this type of funding and once that's completed the final 10 percent the state holds will be reimbursed.
"I don't foresee any problems," she said.
Hannegan said the work done in the facility is in a lot better shape now than when it changed ownership a few years ago. Now the facility meets Americans with Disability Act requirements, there is now a fire suppression system throughout the eight-floor facility, work has been done on the elevators and there was egress work done on the stairs.
"This work makes it more viable for future use," Hannegan said.
While the facility is closed and a sale in the future is possible, the current owners could still get the remainder of the money they have coming to them.
Hannegan said if anything the work done makes the facility more appealing to a future owner and will benefit downtown Philipsburg.