Dallas, TX – Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter: By a 12 to 2 vote, council members approved the expense, paid from the Convention and Visitors Bureau budget. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert called this is a vital step towards building a thousand room convention center hotel that every other competing convention city already has.
Mayor Leppert: This investment, aside from the benefits associated with the convention center and protecting that investment, will be crucial to building downtown, making sure we have investment going long into the future, that'll create a nucleus of job growth not only for the city but the entire region.
Zeeble: Council oppenents included Mitchell Rasansky and Angela Hunt, who worried over the eventual cost of a hotel, estimated in the 400 million dollar range, maybe more.
Angela Hunt, Dallas City Council Member: What'll it cost us to build this and how much will the city of Dallas have to put in, and how will we fund it? Those are certainly pieces of information we can know. Of course we can know the costs and figure out how to pay for it, but we've done none of that.
Zeeble: The city keeps its option on the 8.4 acres adjacent to the convention center through the end of September. If it does nothing, the initial half a million dollars in option money is forfeited. Bill Zeeble KERA news. Bzeeble@Kera.Org