Now That's an Iconic Convention Center Hotel. Too Bad the City Disagreed.

After taking care of some bidness near DPD headquarters last week, I popped in on my favorite pro-hotel'er, Jack Matthews, whose office is across the street. Matthews, who is developing the convention center hotel for the city, assured me construction has not begun on the project even though work is underway on the site beyond demolishing the parking structure.

Our conversation led us to a conference room as we discussed the possibility of the city's next move: expanding the convention center. Matthews showed me a wooden model of downtown Dallas, which sat next to the model of the proposed convention center hotel.

Something clearly stood out.

"What's that?" I asked.

"That's my original vision for the convention center hotel," he said.

Of course, it was a privately owned deal that included the use of land that he already owns, which he says totaled $8.2 million compared to the $42 million paid by the city for its site.

Matthews wouldn't discuss specific deal points, as he's apparently not supposed to, but it's hard to find the logic in the city's decision to pass on a privately owned project that would have looked like this and could have sparked development south of I-30.

But, hey, look at the bright side: At least the city might end up owning it now. Did I say look at the bright side? I meant get ready for another kick to the crotch.

More pics after the jump.

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