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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Tax incentive approved for planned Cultural District hotel

A Westin-branded hotel planned to stand near the Modern Art Museum along University Drive just got a $7.8 million incentive from the city of Fort Worth.

By 8-0 vote, the City Council on Tuesday approved a 10-year deal for HRI Properties, the New Orleans-based developer planning the $52-million, six-story, 250-room hotel. District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton did not attend the meeting and did not vote.

The hotel is planned to stand along University Drive between Morton and Bledsoe streets and will serve as the main hotel for a multipurpose arena planned for Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Under terms of the incentive package, the city will grant the developer the 7 percent hotel tax collected on the project. The total incentive cannot surpass $7.8 million.

In turn, the developer must invest at least $52 million into the project, of which at least $33 million reflect construction expenses; employ at least 130 full-time employees on the premises by Dec. 31, 2018, filling 60 percent of those full-time positions with Fort Worth residents and 25 percent with Fort Worth central city residents.

The developer also must spend at least $100,000 of annual discretionary service and supply purchases with Fort Worth companies and at least $50,000 of those expenditures with certified minority- and women-owned businesses.

The hotel, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2017 under the deal, must contain 15,000 square feet of meeting space, including a main ballroom, two junior ballrooms, two meeting rooms and a board room.

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