Downtown conference center developer says few incentives needed

Ehrhardt Hospitality Group told city officials it would need few incentives to build a conference hotel on this lot downtown.

Emails obtained by KRCG 13 Thursday show a developer told officials it would need few incentives if it gets the nod to build a conference hotel.

A memo sent from interim city administrator Drew Hilpert to the city council states representatives for Ehrhardt Hospitality Group, which is one of two developers competing to build a proposed conference center and hotel in Jefferson City, told him the city would not need to commit any funds for the hotel portion of the project. Additionally, Ehrhardt representatives said their company is "willing to build as large a conference center as can be paid for out of the 4% lodging tax and/or the economic incentives authorized by the city." Ehrhardt went on to say it planned on a $9.1 million conference center because the company could count on getting that revenue solely from the city's lodging tax. The developer said it can build a bigger conference center if the city approves additional incentives.

Ehrhardt said it would like some combination of tax increment financing, community improvement districts and transportation development districts, and noted any districts would likely include portions of downtown. The developer said the downtown location would not necessarily require a 100 percent local TIF, a marked difference from Farmer Holding Company's request for a 100 percent TIF for building the conference center at the Capital Mall. That plan would send all new sales tax revenue back to the developer.