Dallas City Council Approves Land Purchase for Convention Center Expansion

The Dallas City Council yesterday approved a purchase option agreement for an 8.4-acre site near the city's convention center to support an expansion project and possibly provide room for a convention center hotel.

After obtaining consensus from City of Dallas officials, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau leadership and various task force groups, the Dallas CVB has agreed to apply $500,000 in non-hotel tax revenues and non-hotel memberships as a fee to secure an option for this site. Upon closing and transfer of ownership, the Dallas CVB will be repaid the $500,000 used to secure the option for this site.

"It is prudent to tie up the property to even see if this is an option," said Mayor Tom Leppert. "This is going to determine the future of downtown. It's a first step, a relatively small step in the process, but we need to move forward."

Over the next four to six months, City staff will conduct the necessary due diligence and develop a financing plan for acquisition of this site.

The Lamar Boulevard/Young Street site is extremely important to the Dallas CVB and the Dallas Convention Center, according to a center release. As the "front door" of the Dallas Convention Center, the site provides future convention center expansion space as well as a site for a potential convention center hotel.

Of the top 20 competitive convention markets nationwide, Dallas is the only city without a convention center hotel announced, under construction or completed. The Dallas CVB said more than 80 groups have decided not bring future meetings to Dallas due to the lack of a convention center hotel and adequate meeting space in the convention center. Dallas is currently losing out on $800 million in direct spending and $2.6 billion in economic impact, according to the release.