SUNSET BAY – A proposed water park and hotel in Irving got a $700,000 loan Thursday from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.
The loan was announced during the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting held in Cabana Sam’s Restaurant in Sunset Bay. Legislator George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, a member of the committee, asked members to hold the session in Sunset Bay so he could talk about the developments that are planned for the region.
The proposed water park and hotel on Routes 5 & 20 near Lake Shore Hospital has been in the planning stages for about a year. The developer is Michelle Borrello. Her business, MMM Real Estate & Development, has already completed several preliminary phases at the site and she is currently waiting for final approval on the loans for the project.
“We keep getting asked when we will get started, but this is a big project with a lot of paperwork and background,” said Borrello, who credits her father, Anthony Borrello with the idea for the hotel and water park.
She said that if financing is approved ground would likely be broken this fall and that could mean an opening day next summer. Borrello said the project would create about 75 full- and part-time jobs.
The project is estimated to cost $10 million.
Bill Daly, director of the county’s IDA, said the IDA has offered a $700,000 loan toward the purchase of equipment for the water park. Daly said he delivered the news to Borrello today.
“She has already put in a lot of work on the project,” he said.
Borello’s family owns and operates other businesses, including Pro Oil and the Sunset Bay Restaurant in the Silver Creek area.
“Her family has been actively involved in business and development in the region for many years,” Daly said.
Daly said the next step will be for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to secure the loans. He said smaller loans of less than $10 million could be secured by the Small Business Administration, but a loan of this size requires the Department of Agriculture to secure it.
The $700,000 note from the IDA is for seven years at 4 percent interest, Daly said.
In addition to about 72 hotel rooms, the project would include a water park, fast-food restaurant, banquet facility and another restaurant, Daly said. Borrello said the buildings would be built simultaneously.
In other business, committee members reviewed the ranking of projects that have applied for funds through the local bed-tax program. There were 14 total projects – including the Canadaway Creek Habitat Restoration and Sportsfishing Aquatic Resource Education Program with a request for $2,650 – requesting a total of more than $300,000. The committee decided to approve the full list and send it on to the Chautauqua County Legislature for review.