Nonprofit lender allowed to redevelop The Balsams
December 15th, 2021
From The Union Leader
By John Koziol
“Monday’s approval by the Coos County Commission of an agreement that allows a Louisiana- based nonprofit lender to become part of the redevelopment of The Balsams Resort in Dixville has led to a flurry of interest in the project, according to the resort’s owner.
‘The Commission’s vote affirms they support the Balsams’ rebirth and they welcome (Provident Resources Group of Baton Rouge) role in financing a central part of our renovation and expansion,’ said Les Otten, the owner of The Balsams, in an email Tuesday.
He said the vote was ‘for creating jobs and boosting the North Country’s economy, and is already stimulating great interest from people who want to put deposits on suites in Dix and Hampshire House. Inquiries are pouring in.’
Steve Hicks, Provident’s chairman and CEO, previously said Provident loves Otten’s vision for The Balsams, which along with the nearby Wilderness ski area closed a decade ago.
To be sold to institutional investors through Goldman Sachs, Provident is willing to raise upwards of $125 million in municipal funds to make Phase I of that vision happen.
Provident, to comply with Internal Revenue Service rules, had to be asked to participate in the project by the local government, which in the case of Dixville — an unincorporated township east of Colebrook — is the Coos County Commission.
According to its website, Provident supports investments nationwide in projects that promote affordable housing, quality health care, senior living communities and services, education ‘at all levels,’ and ‘assistance in lessening the burdens state and local governments face in providing facilities and services to their citizens.’
Hicks said Provident’s bonds would cover the cost to build the Lake Gloriette Hotel and conference center, which Provident would then own. Otten would operate the facilities, with revenue covering the bond payments.
Additionally, Provident would receive an annual asset management fee for the bond money, he said.
Coos County would not incur ‘any financial obligation,’ said Hicks, while Otten has previously said Provident would also pay all applicable taxes.
Any money left over after paying expenses would go to Coos County, Hicks said, and could be spent by the County Commission pursuant to Provident’s charitable mission. The Balsams is Provident’s first project in New Hampshire, Hicks said.
Provident, which has a $4 billion portfolio, is developing student housing at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Boston.
Provident said it partnered with the city of Harlingen, Texas, to provide $29 million to finance, construct and operate a 149room Hilton Garden Inn Hotel at the Harlingen Convention Center.”