|By John Nolan, Dayton Daily News,
OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 05, 2011--DAYTON -- Dayton International Airport officials face a stiff challenge in their latest attempt to find a developer that can obtain financing to build a hotel at the airport, commercial real estate executives said.
"The economy has slightly improved for hotel financing, but I still think it's going to be very difficult," said Terry Baltes, president of Baltes Commercial Realty in Washington Twp.
The Dayton airport's first try lagged for more than a year and fizzled in October when three banks that were evaluating the project decided not to loan the money to a Cincinnati-area developer. The airport has asked for a new round of proposals that developers must submit by 4 p.m. Dec. 30.
Terrence G. Slaybaugh, Dayton's director of aviation, wants a developer to build on the two-acre site that was cleared when the city demolished the 40-year-old Dayton Airport Hotel this year. It would be convenient to PSA Airlines Inc.'s corporate headquarters and its crew training facility at the airport, he said.
Slaybaugh said he has received calls expressing interest from several developers, whom he declined to identify.
"I am optimistic that we'll be able to put something together," he said.
Half a dozen representatives of developers or construction subcontractors showed up this week for a non-mandatory meeting to discuss the project with airport officials.
Construction loans are hard to come by, and hotel construction financing is even tougher because businesses and leisure travelers tend to cut back on travel in lean times, commercial real estate brokers said. It is critical that the city-owned airport attract a developer who can inspire confidence in potential lenders, brokers said.
"I think that has more to do with the quality of the developer, than the timing in the financial market," said Mark Fornes, a partner in Mark Fornes Realty Inc. "The key to getting that deal done is finding a good, reputable hotel developer with the track record necessary to do the development."
"The stars must align for the right developer, right brand, right sponsor, feasibility and financing availability," said Eric Belfrage, vice president of CBRE Group Inc.'s hotels and investment properties unit in Columbus.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2242 or jnolan@DaytonDailyNews.com.
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