When it opened in 2009, the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss., was supposed to be connected by sky bridge to an adjacent hotel. More than two years later, however, the facility is still waiting for its much-coveted appendage — and will have to continue waiting, according to local newspaper The Clarion-Ledger
, which reported last week that the city has rejected two proposals from hotel developers.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority (JRA), which is in charge of the hotel project, chose on Dec. 16 not to accept proposals from two interested parties — Transcontinental Realty Investors of Dallas, which proposed a 309-room hotel, and Journeyman Austin Holdings of Austin, Texas, which proposed a 300-room hotel — and instead decided to start over by seeking new proposals in 2012.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, JRA's decision was based on the need for more due diligence.
"We see great potential here," JRA board member Brian Fenelon told the paper. "We want to do this the right way. If it's delayed [further], but it's done right, to me, that's worthwhile."
Although the city had hoped to use federal Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds to fund the project, the deadline to use those funds is Dec. 31, which means a new financing mechanism will also have to be found.
"I, for one, am sorry we won't be able to take advantage of that," JRA Chairman Ronnie Crudup Sr. told The Clarion-Ledger, referring to the GO Zone funds. "We lost a real opportunity."
Had a developer been chosen last week, a hotel would have opened for groups in 2013. Now, the soonest a hotel could be online is 2014.