Good God, just look at all the things on the city council's Economic Development Committee agenda for this morning -- so many items, matter of fact, that there's even a caveat: "Items NOT discussed on Monday will be moved to Thursday's meeting." Of course, perhaps this item explains the out: "Convention Center Hotel Update," all 47 pages of it. And there, among all those pages, is one sentence sure to drag out this morning's meeting: "Recommend primary developer to begin negotiations." There will be three to choose from, from the looks of a document that says one developer "declined to submit" a proposal (Hines/Garfield Traub), yet another was "not invited for further negotiations" for unspecified reasons (Jones Lang LaSalle) and one more "failed to submit a bid security and was not invited to continue" (Hamilton Properties).
Which leaves Austin-based Faulkner USA, Dallas-based Matthews Southwest (which did South Side on Lamar) and ... lookie there, Dallas-based Woodbine Development, owned by Ray Hunt and run by John Scovell, whose names sound oddly familiar. The convention center doc's a good read this morning -- the best snapshot of where the city stands on the done deal. As in: Didya know it will "generate $2.5 Billion in economic activity" and that the "the DCC hotel project is critical for the health of the City"? Well, it will. And it is. So there. And, bonus, there's a second mammoth convention center hotel item on the agenda today: "Convention Center Hotel Project: Dallas Business Connections; Empowering Contractors, Growing Partnerships, Connecting Downtown." Much like the U.S. Open, this too will go long. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.