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VANCOUVER, WA-The city’s private partner in a planned $80-million development south of Esther Short Park is having trouble coming up with his portion of the project’s capital. The development includes a 6,500-seat sports arena and a 28,000-sf convention space that will cost an estimated $60 million, and a $20-million, 174-room hotel.

Jerry Jenkins told the city council this week that concerns over the pending lawsuit, which could could ultimately force a public vote on the project, has made it harder to sell the naming rights for an anticipated $7.1 million and fulfill his end of the bargain. The city plans to float a $59.7 million bond issue to finance the events center and pay it off with a 2% hotel-motel tax and rental revenues, but wants to make sure Jenkins can fulfill his end of the bargain.

To give Jenkins more time, the city is delaying site demolition work planned for this fall until next spring. That would leave a narrow 18-month window for general contractor PCL Construction Services to have the facility up and running for the start of the West Coast Hockey League season in October 2003. Jenkins has said he expects to have the necessary investors lined up later this fall to bring arena football and indoor soccer franchises to the facility as well.

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