Jefferson City Unveils Plans for Conference Center

8 years 6 months 15 hours ago Thursday, October 21 2010 Oct 21, 2010 Thursday, October 21, 2010 10:20:44 PM CDT October 21, 2010 in News

After three years in the making, Jefferson City unveiled preliminary plans for a new Conference Center downtown Thursday afternoon. It's one of the most valuable pieces of property in Jefferson City. With easy access to both the Supreme Court and Truman Building, the location of the city's proposed conference center couldn't be better.

"The location that we're proposing for the Conference Center is clearly right in almost the center of the capital complex," said Jim Penfold, Conference Center Committee Chair.

The 20 million dollar plan includes a ballroom with 20,000 square feet of space and a new 200 room hotel paid for by private investment.

One of the major hurdles for the project is the aquisition of all the land. Now the city owns most of the block, but that white stucco house over there is owned by a local businessman who says he just wants fair value for the property.

Cliff Schnieders used to rent the house out to government workers. He wouldn't go on camera to discuss the property, but he said the city is lowballing him.

"I've heard it's actually the appraised value plus a percentage, but Mr. Schnieders has a different value in mind," said Penfold.

The city already owns the other boarded up homes on the site, and plans to continue forward with the project.

The City Council will need a public vote to increase the lodging tax from three percent to seven percent to fund the Convention Center. That vote could happen as early as February.

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