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Duluth City Council OKs TIF funding for hotel project on Lafarge site

The Duluth City Council approved tax-increment financing for the Pier B development coming to Duluth’s waterfront.

The board voted unanimously to allow new taxes generated by the project to cover certain development costs, a $3.4 million package.

“There’s no direct cost subsidy to the developer,” said councilor Joel Sipress, who noted the TIF funding will be used to clean up the site — something he said would need to be “done regardless.”

The development includes a hotel, restaurant, banquet facilities and a marina at the former Lafarge cement terminal. Local investors doing business as Pier B Holding LLC attended the meeting and could be heard outside chambers celebrating the TIF approval.

“We get improved public access to the waterfront,” Sipress said. “I’m pleased to support this project.”

The project is estimated to cost $29.1 million. Developers have said efforts to begin to shore up the seawall on the site could begin in August with council approval of the TIF. With construction expected to take 12-14 months, the hotel could be ready for business by late 2015.