City council gives green light to downtown convention hotel - KCTV5

City council gives green light to downtown convention hotel

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The hotel would be located in a block bound by Truman Road, Baltimore Avenue, 16th Street and Wyandotte Avenue. (KCTV5) The hotel would be located in a block bound by Truman Road, Baltimore Avenue, 16th Street and Wyandotte Avenue. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The future of a new downtown hotel was in the hands of City Council members on Thursday and it received the go-ahead it needed.

The council gave the project the green light, allowing for construction to begin on an 800-room Hyatt convention hotel during the fall.

The council passed the ordinance 11-2. 

The hotel would be located on a block bound by Truman Road, Baltimore Avenue, 16th Street and Wyandotte Avenue.  

The hotel’s focus would be housing those attending conventions at the nearby Kansas City Convention Center. The location is also across the street from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Because the council approved the ordinance, that means the project won’t need a public vote to move forward.

Contractors told the city the longer they wait to build, the more money the city will lose by missing out on conventions.

While some support the plan, others don’t think it’s necessary.

"I'm excited about it," Don Stebbins said. "It's a good location and I think a lot of people are also overseeing it so it's a minimum amount of city dollars guaranteeing it. I hope we can make it work out."

"I think the city is beautiful the way it is,” John DeLaCruz said. “I think they ought to leave the trees for people when they're walking around they can stop and have a shaded area so they can stop and enjoy the view because a building is not the prettiest thing to look at."

Dan Coffey, from the group "Citizens for Responsible Government," says he doesn't necessarily oppose the construction of a hotel, but says because the project will use some taxpayer money it is only fair they have a say in how their money is spent.

Some council members voiced concerns about funding, but others were ready to see the project move forward. 

"I'm not going to continue to vote city dollars away when I haven't seen anything from their side as far as the money," Teresa Loar, 2nd District Councilwoman, said.

"This hotel is crucial," said Sylvester James, Mayor of Kansas City. "It is instrumental to the further growth of our convention and trade industry into bringing more and more more business into town."

"It's a great relief to get to this point where we can see where we can go ahead go to the financing market, get this financed, and be in a position to start something that's really great for Kansas City," Michael Burke, KC Hotel Developer, said.

Supporters say it will bring 360 entry-level jobs and hundreds of construction jobs to the area. 

The ordinance takes effect immediately. Developers hope to finalize funding in August and then begin construction during the fall. The hotel is expected to open in late 2019 or early 2020.

The ordinance includes a community improvement district extension, along with zoning changes and a bridge across Wyandotte Avenue to connect the hotel to the Convention Center.

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