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TROY, MI-The city council, along with the city manager and director of real estate, traveled to visit two conference and performing arts centers in Tennessee and Illinois. The trip was part of the council’s research of various plans to build a large conference center and a theater, either 2,500 or 5,000 seats, on the city’s public civic centerproperty.

The city’s Downtown Development Authority has estimated it will cost $210 million to build a conference center, a performing arts theater, a hotel and accompanying retail, as well as a parking garage, on the property. The council flew to Kingsport, TN to the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center, and to Rosemont, IL to view the Rosemont Convention Center. Both centers are very large, and offer many rooms for conventions and theater events.

Council members will most likely discuss their trip at their next meeting July 23. Mayor Matt Pryor says it will probably take eight months to make a decision about the property.

A children’s museum and an IMAX theater have already dropped plans to build on the site, after a newly elected council, including Pryor, indicated its distaste for the two projects.

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