Conference Center Plan Moves Forward
The city's selection committee recently selected developer for the project, choosing the nationally-renouned Garfield Traub of Dallas, Texas, moving the process one step closer to groundbreaking.
"They were tremendously excited about being selected to do the job," says Jefferson City administrator Steven Rasmussen.
Questions still remain about how the city will foot the estimated $100 million bill.
"It'll have to be put together by some combination of public and private money," says Rasmussen.
The city demolished what was the Bassman House to make way for the conference center. To follow the proposed site plan, the city needs to demolish more buildings on McCarty Street, a proposition that Jefferson City worker Ed Hartensten says he can live with.
"I think it will only increase the value of the property that we're spending money on here in front of the capitol," Hartensten says. "I think it's going to improve the downtown all together."
Jefferson City resident Alan Clements thinks that it will improve the city's economy.
"Jeff City is a state government town. It needs conference rooms to compete with cities like Columbia, Lake Ozark, and Joplin, Springfield to get more business in here," says Clements.
Rasmussen says the city will be looking to local finance institutions, the city council, and the public to allocate the necessary funds for the project.