DENVER -The City of Denver will begin negotiations to purchase the Berger site for the new Hyatt Convention Center Hotel. Mayor Wellington E. Webb has signed a joint letter of intent with developer Bruce Berger to begin negotiations on the site for the newhotel. The Berger site is located between 14th and 15th, Welton andCalifornia streets.

The purchase price is $23.25 million, almost $7 million less than the original $30 million asking price. Berger paid about $3.3 million for the land, and it’s estimated he spent another $3 million or so razing the Denver Post building on the site. The site now is used as a public surface parking lot.

“This location, directly across the street from the Convention Center, is the ideal location for the new Hyatt Hotel,” Webb said. “We are hopeful that the negotiations for this site are successful and we are eager begin the negotiation process.”

According to the letter, the deadline for the purchasing agreement will be negotiated and approved by December 31, with the closing to be held June 2, 2003, and in no event later than December 31, 2003. The purchasing agreement must be approved by Denver City Council and the mayor.

A project manager for the hotel project is expected to be named in the near future. Earlier this summer, Mayor Webb announced that the City of Denver selected Hyatt Corp. to begin exclusive negotiations to operate the 1,100-room convention center hotel.

Berger was going to develop the hotel himself with Hyatt, but Webb pulled the plug on that deal because it was so difficult for a private developer to finance a hotel in this market. Webb decided the City should finance the project to assure it will be built in a timely manner.

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