Senior Housing: Chicago-area developer in negotiations to renovate Newcomb Hotel as part of $11 million project

By MATT HOPF for Herald-Whig

Another Chicago-area developer is expressing interest in buying the Newcomb Hotel and turning it into an assisted-living facility.

Neal Stein with 3 Diamond Development of Chicago told the Quincy Revolving Loan Committee Wednesday that he is in negotiations with Victor Horowitz of Skokie to buy the hotel for an undisclosed price and invest $11.4 million to develop a 98-unit facility.

To do so, 3 Diamond Development would have to pay the balance of a $500,000 loan Horowitz received from the city when he bought the property in December 2003 and what’s left of a $50,000 loan he received from the county, and more than $32,000 in back property taxes.

“Obviously, the facility needs a fair amount of work,” Stein said. “It’s been awhile since housekeeping has been through there. So it needs to be tidied up quite a bit.”

Stein said the company is applying for more than $6 million in low-income housing and historic tax credits, and should learn by mid-November if the tax credits are approved. He said 3 Diamond Development would have to pay a $175,000 reservation fee within two weeks of approval. He said he is meeting with potential investors for the project, which could see construction begin in April and residents able to move in by late summer 2012.

Talks of renovating the hotel, built in 1888 across from Washington Park, have been discussed for years to no avail.

Horowitz bought the hotel for $500,000 from the Rezmar Corporation, which had owned the building since 1996. He planned to develop the hotel into an assisted-living facility, but the project never got off the ground. He received $500,000 from the Revolving Loan Committee to help finance the purchase.

Director of Planning and Development Chuck Bevelheimer said the loan, which was to have been paid off or refinanced by August, still has a $410,323 balance.

Adams County Treasurer Jean Reddington said $13,515.87 is due in 2010 property taxes. Property taxes from 2009 were sold in October at the county’s annual tax sale for delinquent real estate taxes, and it would cost $19,100.41 to bring that bill current.

Horwowitz also received an additional $50,000 loan from Adams County’s Revolving Loan Committee. Reddington said $40,175 remained on the loan, with the last payment received in December.

Stein said 3 Diamond Development focuses on affordable senior housing, typically financed through Illinois Housing Department Authority tax credits, and nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Stein provided information on 17 other properties the company has in the Midwest.

“A lot of times developers will try to cram in as many units as possible, and we like to have a lot of common area space,” Stein said, pointing out that the company is developing a facility in Dubuque, Iowa, that would offer a beauty parlor, an exercise room, a computer room, wellness center and a private dining room.

Bevelheimer said 3 Diamond Development could be eligible to receive a loan from the city’s committee if an application is submitted.

“The financial institution presents us their loan package, and the city ends up filling in a gap in the financing,” Bevelheimer said.


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