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 Lafayette, Louisiana Developers Receive a $20 million Tax Free Loan
at a 4.25 Interest Rate to Build a 110 unit Homewood Suites
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Loan Provided through The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 to Support
the Rebuilding in the Gulf States Devastated by the Hurricanes of 2005
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Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April 20, 2006; The State of Louisiana Bond Commission voted this morning in Baton Rouge to approve the Lafayette Homewood Suites project to be built by LTPB, LLC for $20,000,000.00 in tax-exempt bond financing.    The Homewood Suites project is one of the first projects in the State of Louisiana to receive approval under the 2005 Go Zone legislation.  The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act (GO Zone) of 2005 was signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 21, 2005 and establishes tax incentives and bond provisions to support the rebuilding of local and regional economies in the Gulf states that were devastated by the hurricanes of 2005.

“This approval will help to bring not only 200+ construction jobs to Lafayette, but also provide over 100 permanent jobs in the Lafayette downtown area”, stated Edwin W. Leslie President of Leslie Hospitality Management and Managing Member of LTPB, LLC.  The GO Zone approval will allow the hotel to be built and financed with below market interest rates.  GO Zone bonds present a unique opportunity for private business owners and corporations to borrow capital through very favorable tax-exempt financing to acquire, construct, reconstruct or renovate non-residential real property, qualified residential rental projects, and public utility property in the affected areas.

Previously tax-exempt bond issues have been restricted to governmental agencies or not-for-profit organizations. In an unprecedented move by Congress, the restrictions on tax-exempt debt have been raised to allow businesses and corporations this unique advantage for a limited time.  The GO Zone encompasses 20 parishes in Louisiana, approximately 50 counties in Mississippi, and 11 counties in western and southern Alabama. 

“Interest on GO Zone bonds is exempt from both federal and state income taxes, therefore the interest rate is lower than through conventional financing, historically saving a borrower 1.50% to 2.0%. Also, the borrower is typically accessing the debt capital markets at the short end of the yield curve where interest rates are usually at their lowest”, stated Mr. Leslie.

The Lafayette Homewood Suites by Hilton will feature 110 full service suites, 8000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and many other amenities.  The hotel is being built on land in downtown Lafayette adjacent to the new $40,000,000.00 federal courthouse on property owned by prominent Lafayette Attorney Jeffrey Speer.  “This hotel has been a dream of mine for many years and with the Go Zone approval will now become a reality.  Downtown Lafayette has needed a full service hotel and we will now provide the market with the investment it needs to serve the legal and business community”, stated Mr. Speer.

The Go Zone Bonds will be marketed by Stephanie Ferry, Senior Vice President of  Morgan Keegan and should begin being sold sometime in June or July of this year.  Consruction on the project begins in 45 days and the hotel is anticipated to open in early 2007.
 
 

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Contact:

Edwin W. Leslie, President
Leslie Hospitality Management
(281) 468-4230.
 

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Also See: Hilton Hotels Corporation Names its Top Developers for its Focused Service Brands - Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton / February 2006
Homewood Suites by Hilton Commences Brand Enhancement Program; Full Completion for 145 Hotels Slated for Year End 2008 / February 2005

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