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JRA conditionally approves funding for long-delayed hotel

JACKSON — The Jackson Redevelopment Authority has given conditional approval to fund a long-delayed hotel project.

The Clarion-Ledger reported attorneys for the authority still must sign off on the action. It also requires approval from the Jackson City Council, which will discuss the matter on Monday.

The proposal involves issuing nearly $90 million in bonds to build a hotel across from the Jackson Convention Complex.

Much of the $89.6 million in bond financing would come from Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds that have to be sold by Dec. 31. Based on the traditional process, developers would not have been able to meet that deadline.

Because the authority’s counsel staff has differing opinions on whether the deal would be legal, the authority has hired the firm Balch & Bingham to review the actions related to the hotel proposal.

Jackson City Council President Frank Bluntson said a council vote could come by Dec. 19.

If the GO Zone bonds are sold on time, construction could start as early as January, with the 309-room hotel opening in summer 2013, says Bob Swerdling, a Colorado-based hospitality-industry consultant involved in the deal.

Other important steps are still to be finalized, including fielding other proposals to develop the hotel.

Texas-based Transcontinental Realty Investors had been the lone company to this point working to build the hotel, taking the lead this year from a subsidiary. Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

However, even without a developer in place the board last Friday voted to approve several personal service contracts, including a construction manager.

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