Wow, we were way off: Woodbine Development ain't getting the convention center hotel after all. Matter of fact, it finished dead last among the three contenders being considered today by the city council's Economic Development Committee during its closed-door executive session. The top choice: Matthews Southwest, which, as we noted this morning, was responsible for South Side on Lamar.
The council has 60 days to negotiate with Matthews for the $500-million project (though, really, it'll be over that by at least a few mil). If the city can't work a deal with Matthews, Faulkner USA out of Austin will be next in line. It'll fall to Woodbine only if a deal can't be struck with the top two finalists. Again, wow, we were wrong. But so was everybody else: Notes Merten, who just phoned this in from City Hall, all the folks cooling their heels in the hallways on Marilla figured the lengthy executive session this morning was just for appearances. Not so much. Also, no explanation for the selection was given. --Robert Wilonsky
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