Santa Ana Approves More Incentives for Luxury Hotels

Santa Ana is setting out the welcome mat for luxury hotels in their city.

At long last, after seven months of considering an incentive program for four- and five-star hotel developers to build in Santa Ana, City Council members have taken a step forward. That incentive program was approved and adopted unanimously. It came with new provisions for workers that labor organizations praised highly.

Mayor Pro Tem (basically a “vice mayor”) Vincent Sarmiento had this to say: “It’s been about six months that we worked on it, but the good things is there was a good environment for everyone to talk about what their concerns were, and what their priorities were.”

Currently, Santa Ana has zero four- or five-star hotels, which forces businesses from growing companies to look to neighboring cities, like Costa Mesa, that do have luxury hotels.

The incentive program closes the funding gap that developers face when the cost of construction does not yield a return.

This incentive allows Santa Ana to offer a high-rated developer 50 percent of the new incremental hotels visitors’ tax the property generates, for up to 15 years. This percentage is currently at 11 percent. This 50 percent is projected to yield $9 million by the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The City staff has met with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council and gathered feedback on wage requirements.

Ada Briceño, secretary-treasurer for Unite Here Local 11, said her union is pleased the city is taking steps to encourage hotel development and that the resolution addresses all of their concerns.

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