Dallas, TX – City of Dallas officials are considering to demolish the current Dallas Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and to build new one in a $4 billion worth project, multiple outlets reported.
The idea for the project was backed by the Dallas City Council committee on Monday that endorsed a financing plan tied to the project.
Officials said plans for use of the money have been narrowed from 13 options to four, which will be reviewed by the council in December.
According to the initial plan, a new building west of Lamar Street should replace the existing one as substantially meeting every goal for the project. No other goal was ranked as highly in the document.
But the city council economic development committee only took action on the financing plan, which was endorsed and sent to the full city council for an Oct. 13 vote.
What is very important with this project is the fact that it won’t cost the city of Dallas taxpayers any money, committee chairman Tennell Atkins said.
The city expects to use up to $2.2 billion from the state law that will allow the city of Dallas to collect bigger state hotel tax from 71 hotels existing or under construction within a three-mile radius of the convention center.
Additionally, the city plans to organize a referendum and ask the residents if they agree the city to impose additional city taxes for visitors in the accommodations across the city, money that will be used for this and other projects in the future.
“This is money we wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s not costing the taxpayers anything,” councilman Chad West said.
The current convention center is one of the largest in the country. The center now has 1 million square feet of exhibit space, but due to pandemic, it was closed most of the time in the last year and a half.
The convention center during this period was mostly used for pop up clinics and to accommodate migrant children.
In normal times, the briefing said the convention center generated 800,000 annual visitors, most of them from outside Dallas, for 330,000 hotel room nights, $300,000 in spending and 5,000 permanent jobs.
With a new, modern convention center in the area, the city officials believe these numbers will be improved and will directly affect the local economy and the local residents.