Hotel seen as lifeline for Jackson Convention Complex

by Ted Carter

Published: October 2,2011

Tags: Convention Complex hotel, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson got a green light from the city council to issue $96 million in tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone, or GO-Zone, bonds to pay for a 16-story, 309-room hotel. With GO-Zone set to expire Dec. 31, the city must move quickly to sell the bonds, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is clear about why he worked hard the last several months to broker a $96 million deal to get a convention headquarters hotel built.

It’s a rescue mission — pure and simple, according to Johnson, who said he fears the city’s not-yet 3-year-old Convention Complex will soon begin withering and the area around it will deteriorate into a swath of blight without a convention headquarters hotel and the urban revival it could spur.

He sees the stakes as high enough to have city taxpayers backstop the nearly $100 million in debt the hotel project entails. “What causes me unease is having a convention center of 300,000 square feet that is…

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One Response to “Hotel seen as lifeline for Jackson Convention Complex”

  1. Susan McGehee Says:

    If Mayor Johnson does not STOP the CRIME in Jackson NO ONE WILL COME and all this money will have been spent for nothing. Maybe he should use some of that money to improve the police force and get crime under control.

    Jackson has nothing to offer travelers. We are not New Orleans with Bourbon Street nor Memphis will Beall Street and with the CRIME I wouldn’t want to have my company conventions here.

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