Vote on $28M loan guarantee to save Balsams grand hotel in limboBy MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader
March 28. 2018 9:22AM
CONCORD — The state Business Finance Authority said it didn’t have all the answers yet to vote on a $28 million state loan guarantee to revitalize the Balsams resort.
“We continue to work with the Balsams team to get more information,” BFA Executive Director James Key-Wallace said Tuesday.
The finance authority, which met Monday, is being asked to approve a $28 million loan guarantee from the state of New Hampshire that would require the state to step in and make loan payments should the $170 million project run into financial difficulties.
The finance authority and the project’s lender, Service Credit Union, “are looking a little bit further into the terms and potential conditions,” said Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for developer Dixville Capital LLC.
The state loan guarantee “is a critical component of the financing plan that must be in place for us to proceed with the rest of financing as proposed,” Tranchemontagne said.
If the BFA approves the loan guarantee, then the proposal would go before the Executive Council.
The next authority meeting is April 16, but Key-Wallace wouldn’t guarantee a vote then.
“It really depends on when and if we get the information we need,” he said.
Key-Wallace said he couldn’t disclose what information the authority was looking for. The BFA, established in 1992, is tasked with promoting economic development in the state by assisting businesses to obtain loans that banks otherwise might not fund, among other initiatives.
The project’s first phase includes renovation of the Hampshire and Hale houses; reconstruction of Dix House; and construction of a 400-room Lake Gloriette House Hotel and Conference Center, Nordic baths and spa as well as a marketplace and expansion of the former Wilderness ski area.
Other financing includes $20 million in developer equity; about $35 million in other equity, including preferred equity from investors; $18 million in equipment lease financing for the ski area; $53 million in construction financing; and $15.4 million in funding through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, which allows foreigners making certain commercial investments in the United States to be eligible to apply for a green card and permanent residence.