Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Construction of Convention Center, Hotel Scheduled to Begin in August

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Construction of Convention Center, Hotel Scheduled to Begin in August

Article excerpt

After eight years of frustration, St. Charles city officials formally announced plans Thursday for a $53 million convention center and hotel.

St. Charles Mayor Bob Moeller said the city has combined the development expertise of a hotel management company with the financial backing of the St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority to begin construction of a convention center and hotel in August.

"This has been a long time coming but we're right there," Moeller said. "We intend to break ground in 120 days." The complex is expected to open within two years. Mike Konzen of Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc., the city's project consultant, said the project would include a 128,000-square-foot convention center and 250-room hotel. Plans call for the property to be built on the southwest corner of Fairgrounds and Fairlane roads, south of Interstate 70 and west of Fifth Street. John Brancaglione, vice president of PGAV, said the project would produce at least 250 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs when it opens. The city is committing to spend at least $4.3 million to purchase the land for the project. Plans call for the city and the County Convention and Sports Authority to finance the $22 million construction of the convention center and a developer and hotel management company to finance the $25 million hotel. Mike Miller, St. Charles city administrator, said the county convention authority would need to commit $13 million over 20 to 25 years to retire bonds for the convention center project. That money will come from a 5.5 percent tax on hotel rooms approved by county voters in 1992. He said the city will provide the additional financing for the project, including any deficit that may develop from annual maintenance and operation of the convention center, by expanding an existing tax increment district to include the project. Three years ago, St. Charles set up a redevelopment area called a tax-increment financing district. …

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