EDMOND — City council members said they were excited as they unanimously approved seven deals expected to kick-start the development of 300 acres at Covell Road and Interstate 35.
The city agreed to spend $11 million on a hotel and conference center and sports center as a way to increase economic development and sales tax revenues.
City leaders started discussing the need for a conference center at least 20 years ago.
Negotiations with the developers, Covell-35 Development LLC, Covell Partners in Development LLC and Summit Sports Complex, have taken more than a year.
The city bought 7.1 acres of land on the northwest corner of I-35 and Covell Road for a site for the conference center and will spend an additional $2 million on the infrastructure.
Taxpayers will spend $4.8 million on the conference center.
The developer will pay any additional expenses to build the center with 20,000 square feet of meeting space and a ballroom that is about 10,000 square feet with banquet seating for 800 people.
The city will own the conference center and land.
The hotel is expected to be a Hilton Garden Inn with about 160 rooms. The city will not own any part of the hotel, only the land it sits on.
The developer will operate the hotel and conference center and will be required to collect the hotel-motel tax. The city will refund up to $173,720 of that tax in the first year and a maximum of $256,350 in years 10 to 15 for a monthly management fee for the operation of the conference center.