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Friday, September 18, 2020
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Government Council Report: Omni Fort Worth expansion plans approved

Council Report: Omni Fort Worth expansion plans approved

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Big plans for the Omni Fort Worth just got bigger.

In a special meeting Thursday, the Fort Worth City Council authorized an economic development program agreement for an expansion of the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. The agreement calls for developing an additional 400 rooms in a separate high-rise tower located on property bounded by Houston Street, W. 14th Street, Throckmorton Street, and Lancaster Avenue.

The tower, an annex to the 34-story main hotel building, will contain approximately 50,000 square feet of combined meeting space, which may include ballroom, conference, boardroom, or other conference or event space. The building footprint of the hotel will be extended to meet the sidewalk fronting Lancaster Avenue.

When the project is completed, Omni Fort Worth will have a total of 1,008 rooms, which is a few rooms more than the 1,001 available at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

The total investment is expected to be at least $174 million in development costs, of which at least $110 million will be hard construction costs.

In order to facilitate the development, the City of Fort Worth will provide a one-time cash grant of up to $40 million. The grant will be tied to the amount of investment made by the developer and satisfaction of other project and spending requirements.

Among these, the project must be completed by Dec. 31, 2023.

Other developer commitments include:

*Hotel property must operate at all times in accordance with the Omni brand standards, or must operate and market itself at all times as a full-service Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Hotel.

*Developer will, with reasonable notice and restrictions, make available to the city up to 25 rooms per annum without charge for purposes of promoting the economic development of the city or region.

Utilization of Certified Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) companies include:

*The developer will be required to spend 15% of aggregate hard and soft construction costs with contractors that are Certified M/WBE.

Failure to meet this requirement will result in a reduction of the grant by 10%.

The grant from the city will be funded by a revenue bond issuance.

Mayor Betsy Price was present in the council chamber for the meeting, but all other council members attended virtually.

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