City Council Approves Funding Plan for New Convention Center – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


A Dallas city council committee on Monday approved a fundraising plan that could raise up to $ 4 billion to demolish and replace the Dallas Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Officials said plans for using the money have been reduced from 13 options to four, which will be considered by the board in December.

The briefing presented on Monday showed an option that would replace the existing building with a new one west of Lamar Street as substantially meeting all of the project’s objectives. No other goal was ranked so high in the document.

But the city council’s economic development committee only made a decision on the financing plan, which was approved and sent to the entire city council for a vote on October 13.

“It doesn’t cost the City of Dallas taxpayers money to fund this trust,” said committee chair Tennell Atkins.

The financing plan would provide up to $ 2.2 billion from a state law that allows Dallas to collect a greater portion of state hotel taxes levied on 71 existing or existing downtown hotels. construction within five kilometers of the convention center.

The city is also considering a public referendum to impose additional hotel taxes on visitors to the project.

“It’s money we wouldn’t have otherwise. It doesn’t cost taxpayers anything, ”said Councilor Chad West.

With 1 million square feet of exhibition space, the existing Dallas Kay Bailey Hutchison convention center is one of the largest in the country.

But it was largely empty during the COVID-19 pandemic, with space available to house migrant children and a pop-up hospital that was not in use.

An August convention of 3,000 hotel managers from across the country was an example of the way things were.

Normally, the briefing said the convention center generates 800,000 annual visitors, mostly from outside Dallas, for 330,000 hotel nights, $ 300,000 in expenses and 5,000 permanent jobs.

The briefing said the Dallas Convention Center fell short of other cities when it came to ballroom and meeting space.

The convention center master plan is also designed to provide downtown benefits around the city building.

“This renovation and this master plan, it is designed to create more pedestrian, downtown, to generate more jobs, to generate more activity for people who live downtown. It’s super exciting and it’s a big step in the right direction, ”said Councilor Chad West.

Monday’s briefing said the existing convention center is disconnected from surrounding neighborhoods, is small, outdated, and has a third of the number of hotel rooms within walking distance of competing cities.

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