Demolition and environmental remediation are underway at the former Hitching Post Inn property on Cheyenne's west end, officials announced Wednesday.

It's the first phase of the new "Hitching Post Plaza" project -- planned to contain a hotel as well as retail, dining and residential space -- which was brought forward via the cooperative effort of Swagger Construction, Banner Capital Bank and the city.

According to a joint press release, the genesis of the project was the vision of Robert Chamberlin, President of Swagger Construction, on how to best redevelop the blighted site and provide a major catalyst for improvement of the entire W. Lincolnway corridor.

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Chamberlin presented the concept to Richard Braithwaite at Banner Capital Bank who recognized the project would benefit from tax increment financing due to the large amount of public infrastructure improvement needed to move forward.

Earlier this year, the two approached the city about establishing a TIF district, to include the site and surrounding areas. A city ordinance was then passed by the council creating a TIF for the project.

"Once an area has been designated as a TIF district, property values are assessed to create a baseline," the release states. "That value is set for a period of time, and any increase in property tax revenue over time is sent to a separate account for projects in the district. That investment spurs economic activity and increased TIF revenue going forward."

TIF projects are usually financed by bonds or commercial bank loans. For this project, Banner Capital Bank is providing approximately $1.5 million for the TIF portion of the project.


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