Amarillo, TX – The Amarillo Local Government Corporation (LGC) on Wednesday approved the Downtown Convention Hotel/Parking Garage Lease and Development Agreement (LDA) with Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners, LP, which initiates the next phase of the proposed downtown redevelopment projects as approved by the Amarillo City Commission last August. The LDA delineates the two square block area to be leased as well as the conditions and performance measures, terms and conditions and approvals leading to construction commencement for both the LGC and Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners. The agreement also establishes the quality standards and long-term operating standards for the projects.
The LDA identifies the next steps, which include the development of construction plans, specifications, and schematics. Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners, LP will provide proof of funding for the Convention Hotel, which will ultimately lead to the construction of both projects.
“The LGC has studied and negotiated the terms of the Agreement thoroughly, and we are confident that the time, effort and research that have gone into the document truly satisfy the project conditions as presented to the public last summer and ultimately approved by the Amarillo City Commission,” says Gary Pitner, LGC president. These are catalyst projects necessary to ensure the continued growth and long-term viability of downtown Amarillo. The negotiated Agreement was carefully crafted to protect the interests of the community and to ensure the projects provide quality, long-term economic benefits and opportunities.”
The Downtown Convention Hotel and Parking Garage will be located on Buchanan Street, just steps away from the Amarillo Civic Center and Globe News Center for the Performing Arts. The City is currently completing the demolition of the former police department complex that will be the site of the Parking Garage. The Downtown Convention Hotel will be located immediately south of the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts. Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners, LP is obligated to privately fund, build and operate a four-diamond, 270-300 room hotel suitable for both large conventions and local events. Wallace Bajjali will also build and operate an 841 space parking garage with 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail opportunities. The Parking Garage will be funded by a revenue bond backed by Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) receipts, earned income, and developer equity.
“We’re pleased to reach this pivotal point in the city’s downtown development,” says Pitner. “The economic impact of convention, hotel, and entertainment traffic this type of development will draw will be financially rewarding for our community. The projects support the Amarillo Civic Center Complex, downtown Amarillo, and the region as a whole by providing entertainment and economic opportunities not previously available.”
Additional agreements related to the proposed Multi-Purpose Event Venue (MPEV), land lease between the City of Amarillo and the Amarillo Local Government Corporation, and various incentive agreements will be completed as this process moves forward. The Lease and Development Agreement approved today, and the remaining agreements referenced above, are consistent with the proposal and structure approved by the Amarillo City Commission. The agreements provide the necessary framework for the ultimate success of the Downtown Convention Hotel, Parking Garage, and Multi-Purpose Event Venue.
The Amarillo LGC is a non-profit corporation whose seven members are appointed by the City Commission. The LGC was charged by the City Commission with the responsibility for the implementation and oversight of the three downtown projects in August 2011.