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
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