How will the downtown hotel be funded? - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

How will the downtown hotel be funded?

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The Downtown Convention Hotel is gaining ground now that several private investors have pledged their support and their money.

CEO of Old National Bank, Bob Jones, tells 14 News he is negotiating with other local business owners and unions to pull together between $13-million and $15-million for the project.

  • The $71.3-million project will be funded by four different sources.
  • The county has committed and approved $3.5-million.
  • The city will be responsible for $16.5-million, which still has to be approved by City Council.
  • That brings total public subsidy to $20-million.
  • Private investments could be between $13-million and $15-million.
  • That means developer HCW is left to pay between $36.3-million and $38.3-million.

Jones says he and other investors know the hotel is critical to the success of the Centre and the downtown area.

He says investors agree that both the Mayor and the City Council are doing what is appropriate for the project and that their additional funding is the third leg of the stool that this project needs.

Jones isn't going into detail about just who is investing until after City Council gives their approval.

"We're committed," Jones said. "I've said to Council President Robinson as well as to the Mayor, as well as to the folks from HCW that the money that we have committed to is there. The money is there once City Council has approved their portion, which is really the last piece of the puzzle so then ultimately we'll all be winners."

14 News spoke with City Council Finance Chairman, John Friend, on Wednesday who confirms he now plans to vote in favor of the convention hotel project.

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