The city of Ocala has been working nearly two years with local developers hoping to build a hotel east of the downtown square, and a deal is getting closer to being struck.
The City Council recently reviewed a draft agreement that would cost the city $8.2 million to $9.2 million to build a parking garage and provide other incentives, including land for the hotel and $1.2 million in cash, to support the project.
A final agreement could come to the council for approval as quickly as Dec. 2.
Two previous attempts to entice mixed-use development to downtown collapsed, but Ocala leaders are encouraged that this time local investors are involved. However it still involves some risk for the city.
“This will transform downtown in a positive way,” Mayor Kent Guinn said.