New 800-room convention hotel coming to downtown Kansas City - KCTV5

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New 800-room convention hotel coming to downtown Kansas City

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Kansas City leaders and development officials plan to build a $300 million, 800-room downtown hotel to address a lodging shortfall that has caused numerous conventions to look elsewhere. Kansas City leaders and development officials plan to build a $300 million, 800-room downtown hotel to address a lodging shortfall that has caused numerous conventions to look elsewhere.
Plans, which will be formally unveiled Monday, call for a Hyatt to open in 2018 near Kansas City Convention Center's Grand Ballroom and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Plans, which will be formally unveiled Monday, call for a Hyatt to open in 2018 near Kansas City Convention Center's Grand Ballroom and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The city is helping to finance the hotel under a deal that caps its obligation at roughly $2 million a year for 25 years, which Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte called a "cash model." The city is helping to finance the hotel under a deal that caps its obligation at roughly $2 million a year for 25 years, which Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte called a "cash model."
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

The plan for a $300 million, 800-room convention center hotel to go up near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts took a big step forward Thursday when the Kansas City Council unanimously approved tax incentive financing for the project.

The TIF uses future gains in taxes to subsidize the project.

The city has long been criticized for not having enough hotel space to book big conventions or secure a Super Bowl. Hyatt plans to open a convention hotel in 2018. It will employ about 350 people full time.

The city owns about 75 percent of the property in the area of West 16th Street and Baltimore Avenue. They want to buy out the American Hereford Association building and use the space for the hotel.

The city is helping to finance the hotel under a deal that caps its obligation at roughly $2 million a year for 25 years, which Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte called a "cash model." The plan won't require the city to kick in more money if the hotel doesn't meet financial projections. The hotel also would get other city and county tax incentives.

"I think it's a great idea. I know I've had trouble getting hotels in the past so I mean it only makes sense to me, I'm surprised it took this long," said Daniel Gamm.

People at the Power and Light District who spoke with KCTV5 News are excited about the prospect.

"I couldn't be more thrilled. I think just the boost and exposure it's going to bring. I mean you see some of the buzz around the city lately the last year or two with some of the different things that are happening and people are getting really excited about Kansas City and we're really excited about Kansas City, so I'm really stoked for people to be able to come and stay downtown and experience downtown KC," Timothy McMahon said.

"We've literally bled conventions because of a lack of close-in, top-quality hotels," said Michael Burke, a former city councilman and lawyer who is leading the hotel development team. "We finally came up with funding solutions that met the city's and the developers' needs."

Ronnie Burt, president and chief executive of Visit KC, the area's convention and visitors marketing agency, estimated that Kansas City has missed out on $3 billion worth of economic impact over the last 10 years because of insufficient lodging.

"This opens up whole new markets to us," Burt said. "It's a game changer for our hospitality industry."

The proposal represents a three-year effort. The project team has spent about $1 million in private funds on research and planning. 

Some say the hotel will bring $300 million to the local economy. Others dispute those figures, saying TIFs take taxes away from schools, libraries and health services.

Some business owners at the city council meeting were concerned about the catering monopoly. The next step is final costs analysis.

An official website HereToStayKC.com will also be unveiled Monday.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved

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