Jefferson City council meets with competing conference center developer

The Jefferson City council met Thursday evening to discuss a proposal to build a conference center in this parking lot downtown.

Continuing a process from Monday night, the Jefferson City council met Thursday evening with the second of two contractors for the city's proposed conference center.

Like the plan from Farmer Holding Company discussed Monday, Ehrhardt Hospitality Group's proposal would build a Courtyard by Marriott hotel with an attached conference wing. Unlike the Farmer plan, Ehrhardt's proposal would build the complex on a parking lot across McCarty St. from the Truman building.

Prior to Thursday's meeting, Fifth Ward councilman Ralph Bray told KRCG 13 Ehrhardt's location is a major point in that proposal's favor though he added that does not automatically ensure that plan will get the council's endorsement next month. Interim city administrator Drew Hilpert echoed Bray's sentiments after the meeting. He said consultants have found both projects would draw similar levels of business, but the downtown location would bring in slightly more people than the competing Capital Mall location.

Both contractors have until Nov. 7 to finalize their proposals and submit them to the city. Two public hearings will be held between then and the council's final vote on Nov. 18.