Dallas to Pursue Purchase of Convention Hotel Site

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Dallas, TX – The Dallas Convention Center moved closer to getting an adjacent hotel when the city council authorized the city on Wednesday to pursue  a purchase agreement on a site currently used as a parking lot.

The council earlier approved a $500,000 option on the 8.3-acre site located at Lamar Blvd. and Young St.  which is adjacent to the front entrance of the convention center. The council is expected to vote to actually buy the lot by May. If all goes smoothly, Dallas could have a new 1,000-room hotel up and running across the street from the convention center in 2012.

The eventual cost of the lot is estimated at around $41.3 million. Construction of the hotel itself would likely require the city to contribute another $40 million to $100 million. The price tag reportedly has at least two council members urging a public vote on the entire deal.

After the option was approved, Mayor Tom Leppert called the hotel an important step in the process of revitalizing the Dallas convention market. “This is going to determine the future of downtown,” Leppert said.

The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) put up the $500,000 for the option, which is nonrefundable if the purchase falls through. The bureau, however, said the investment was critical. It stated that more than 80 groups had chosen to take their future convention and trade show business elsewhere due to the lack of a convention center hotel and adequate meeting space in the convention center itself. The CVB said the shortfall added up to a loss of $800 million in direct spending and $2.6 billion in economic impact.

Reach Phillip Jones, president & CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, at (214) 571-1011 or pjones@dallascvb.com