LIVERMORE, CA-Plans for a downtown hotel and conference center are being delayed because the would-be developer was unable to secure acceptable financing.

The Rim Corp. of Modesto was the developer of the project. Rim COO Jay Barter tells GlobeSt. that since the company first started lookinh at the project, interest rates have risen two points, construction costs have jumped 20 percent and the company’s proposed equity in the project has risen from 20% to 50%. “It was really an inability to get funding that would have made the project profitable,” Says Barter.

City officials were planning to acquire land for the conference center land and lease it to Rim Corp. They now say the goal is for a new retail development planned for a portion of the property to eventually drive construction of the $30 million conference center, restaurant and hotel.

To that end, the City Council, operating as Livermore’s redevelopment agency, decided on Monday to move forward with 20,000-sf of retail and office space on a portion of the property, to be called Livermore Valley Center. Red Bear Inc., a development company owned by the sons of sportscaster John Madden, will develop the two-story building.

The Livermore hotel project was part of a new Rim Corp. division focused on the acquisition and management of upscale, boutique hotels in urban centers, such as the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Ore., which Rim Corp. recently acquired for around $25 million in a 50/50 venture with Taylor Clark of London.

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