MALONE — The Franklin County Industrial Development Agency still doesn't know the UICC Holding Corp.'s financial status and whether it has access to millions to renovate the Hotel Flanagan."The equity guys didn't show up," said IDA Executive Director Brad Jackson of the April 3 meeting scheduled between his board and the corporation's financial advisers."We still haven't seen the numbers yet," he said, but Jackson still believes the investors are sincere in their wish to spend a reported $10.2 million to transform the arson-ravaged structure at the corner of Elm and Main streets into a high-end hotel and conference center.The IDA is researching the investment details because if UICC's plan and financing seem solid, the agency could leverage state and federal funding and tax credits for related community projects through its partnership with the National Development Council.The council is a national organization that helps communities capture investment dollars to be used for capital projects.A parking garage or other accompanying structure to the hotel project could be developed to attract even more interest in downtown Malone and create jobs.Friday marked the third anniversary of the day UICC announced plans to buy and renovate the building.At that time, it was a $6 million investment that would create a 100-room hotel with a rooftop swimming pool.The project has been revised since then to become an 88-room hotel that would house a high-end restaurant and nightclub and include valet parking and a conference center capable of hosting national events, such as boxing matches.UICC recently told Town Council members its plan to buy the building to the west of the Flanagan and use it for a fitness center and swimming pool on the lower floors and suites on the upper levels.The hotel, which opened in 1914, has been vacant since a 1997 arson fire gutted its interior and killed a man.Another man fell to his death down the elevator shaft in 1999, after he and some buddies entered the boarded-up building for a night of drinking.UICC has had work crews inside the structure in the past year, and a roll-off container was delivered there Friday afternoon.The workers first had to make repairs to the fire-damaged interior to make it safe for workers to be inside. Then they cleaned out the mountains of pigeon droppings and other debris that has accumulated over the years.The electricity has been restored, and a drainage pipe has been attached to the east side of the building to remove water from the roof.The next stage, according to Village Code Enforcement Officer John Leclerc, is for UICC to apply for a permit for asbestos removal by showing what company has been hired to do the abatement and the exact method to be used to collect and dispose of the material.But, as of last week, he said, the company had not applied for a permit.
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