Co-developers John Wheeler and Bob Schermer identified the potential of the Thomas Edison Inn in Port Huron, Michigan. Described as the “crown of Port Huron,” the inn is located at the Blue Water International Bridge which serves as an important commerce gateway between Michigan and Canada. The inn is a three-story, 149-room English Tudor-style hotel with a 6,500 square foot restaurant and over 10,000 square feet in conference room space. Only a few renovations had been completed over the last 30 years.
Wheeler and Schermer utilized New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs) and InSite Capital’s expertise as a Certified USDA lender to renovate the inn. InSite Capital was an integral driver of the complex financing structure, layering NMTCs with a USDA Business and Industry (B&I) guarantee, which was one of the first projects of its kind in the entire country.
The redeveloped Thomas Edison Inn has been rebranded as an upscale DoubleTree by Hilton Port Huron. The county convention center now provides Port Huron and St. Clair County an extraordinary venue for conferences, tradeshows, and community gatherings. The project has served as a catalyst for county-wide job creation through the use of the convention center, and the site has been further utilized by the construction of a 20,000 square foot culinary school owned by Baker College.