Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

FORT WORTH-Fort Worth City Council last night stood up to the opposition by endorsing a 600-room, $200-million convention center hotel and a controversial financing plan that doesn’t require an OK from the tax-paying public.

Council, on a 7-2 vote, directed its city manager to start the wheels rolling to hire a construction manager and architects, buy land from Tarrant County College, proceed with a $130-million certificates sale and finalize a management contract with Hilton Hotel Corp. Each step of the multifaceted directive must return to council for final approval.

Pat Svacina, Fort Worth’s spokesman, told GlobeSt.com that council was swayed by the multitude of studies collected in the past year as well as input from several convention leaders. “Fort Worth has a convention center, but it doesn’t have the hotel rooms. They said they won’t come to Fort Worth unless there is a hotel,” Svacina said.

Last night’s opposition included the heads of the Renaissance and Worthington hotels, which includes Ed Bass who just three days ago wrote a guest column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram claiming the financing plan put the city at too great of a risk. The certificates of obligation, though similar to bonds, do not require approval by the tax-paying public for council to go to market. The certificates sale, project size and cost and hotel demand are the stickling points with the opposition camp.

Fort Worth has long argued that it needs more rooms than the 2,052 now open in the CBD to attract larger conventions and more of them. The city averages 45 conventions per year. That number undoubtedly will increase when the doors open next year on a $75-million expanded center.

Last year, city officials started pushing for a top-of-the-line hotel project, hoping to deliver it in sync, or close to, the 2003 opening of the expanded convention center. The plan has gone from 400 rooms at a cost of $80 million to 600 rooms and $200 million. The room count jumped after a 320-room private project fell through when the developer failed in a bid to tap public funds to proceed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt
Live Chat

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.