"Phase Two" for Columbia's Broadway Hotel underway
COLUMBIA - Construction of Columbia's Broadway Hotel's second tower was slated to begin this January, however a number of legal setbacks postponed the groundbreaking.
The owner of the Broadway Hotel, David Parmley requested a TIF from City Council worth $2 million last November to construct the tower. The Tax Increment Financing Commission voted against recommending this project but later approved it December of the same year after renegotiating terms of the deal.
Construction was halted, subject to a redevelopment agreement.
Columbia City Council voted to approve that redevelopment agreement Monday night, after much deliberation, which should get the project back on track.
All council members except Mayor Brian Treece voted in favor of the new addition. Treece said he voted against it because he believes hotel management tried to, "bait and switch" council by agreeing to make 37 new jobs, but hotel staff do not want to be penalized for cutting jobs in times of recession.
Ward 2 city councilman, Michael Trapp believes the second tower could be a win-win for the city, and the hotel.
"This will bring people to the downtown area," Trapp said. "This hotel really displays what Columbia is all about."
The 80 room tower addition will bring 37 new jobs to the area. Parmley told KOMU last November that the tower will also bring much needed conference space that Columbia lacks.
"If you think about it, a lot of meetings and state associations are skipping Columbia because there's no newer facilities for meetings," Parmley said. "They're probably going to Springfield, or Kansas City, or St. Louis, which is unfortunate."
Trapp believes Columbia's vibrancy paired with the new conference space will bring visitors in droves.
"People will want to have their events here because it is walkable and there's a lot of activities," he said. It's going to be located in the north village arts district where there's lots of small shops and restaurants, they will all benefit by having the new hotel guests and conference attendees patronizing the area."
Trapp believes the shot in the arm the tower will give the city can also change the cities stereotype of strictly being a college town.
"The complaint is that Columbia is too oriented towards college students," Trapp said. "The nice thing about this project is the way it will attract non college students to the downtown area."
KOMU reached out to Parmley for his thoughts on the redevelopment agreement but he declined to comment.