Jefferson City Council meets with conference center developer

Farmer Holding Company representatives arrive at the John G. Christy Municipal Building Monday evening. The representatives met with the Jefferson City Council to discuss their proposal for a conference center.

City council members met with one of the two prospective developers for the city's proposed conference center but gave few details on the outcome of the meeting.

The meeting with Jefferson City-based Farmer Holding Company lasted about 90 minutes. It took place behind closed doors as provided for by Missouri law, because it dealt with sealed bids. Farmer Holding Company's proposal would build a Courtyard by Marriott with an attached conference wing on the southeast corner of the Capital Mall property. Farmer Holding Company owns the mall property.

Interim city administrator Drew Hilpert told KRCG 13 Farmer's proposal is in good financial shape. He said while the company is looking for construction assistance, it does not appear to be looking for help with ongoing expenses.

"It was a pretty good back and forth discussion. It gave the council a good idea of where they're at," Hilpert said.

Farmer representatives said they were pleased with the planning process so far but did not provide any details. They did not answer questions about any major changes they plan to make to their proposal between now and final project submission on Nov. 7.

The council is scheduled to meet with the project's other competitor, Ehrhardt Hospitality Group, on Thursday. Hilpert said public hearings will be held on Nov. 12 at noon and Nov. 14 at 5:30 before a final decision is made on Nov. 18.