Homestead Resort Project Withdraws Application To Midway City

The group behind the Homestead revitalization project has withdrawn their application after failing to acquire a parcel within the resort. The failure of the project may result in increased property taxes for Midway residents.

Homestead resort is divided into several parcels with different ownership. One of the parcels within the Homestead Resort contains four condominiums. Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson says the owners of that parcel was unable to reach a deal with Watts Enterprises to sell their property.

“Sadly, the Homestead Resort project right now it’s a null project,” Johnson continued. “There was a singular landowner within the project that has been unwilling to sell. It’s in a very critical location, so the investors are unwilling to move forward without clear title.”

The application for the project has been withdrawn from the city. Mayor Johnson said she views that as a tragedy.

“I’ve got to add my editorial take on this,” Johnson said. “That’s a tragedy for Midway. This project was a good one. In my short tenure as mayor I saw probably five projects come across my desk potentially for the Homestead. They weren’t well funded, they weren’t well vetted, they weren’t viable projects. My city planner has told me this is the first project he’s seen in 10 years that truly could have worked and made a difference and Midway needed that. We need that to keep our resort tax.”

Mayor Johnson says failure of the project could greatly impact taxes in Midway. As the cities resort tax status is in a precarious situation.

“The status of the resort tax is based on a percentage of nightly rentals versus permanent residents, and we’ve been out of compliance,” Johnson explained. “We successfully lobbied for and got legislation that gave us a one-year extension. We have a band aid project we’re working on right now that would carry us for about two years is all. We just crunch some more numbers just this week and without that Homestead project—the additional rooms that that would have brought in—we’re going to be in a world of hurt. The thing that I don’t know that our citizens fully understand is that in order to recoup the money that the resort tax gives us, I would literally have to at least double the Midway portion of the property tax.”

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