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The original item was published from 12/20/2021 3:47:49 PM to 12/28/2021 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: December 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] One City, One Baytown - Part 3

Mayor_One City One Baytown Part 3

The Hotel and Convention Center Project represents a 30-year community ambition, now made possible by the demand reflective in the area’s tremendous industrial and business growth.  Beyond the anticipated business demand for lodging and meeting space, citizens of Baytown prioritized the development of this facility in a 2016 community-based strategic plan.  

Drawing on legislative authority, the City and the Municipal Development District established a 0.50% sales-and-use tax to support development projects beneficial to the City and the District.  The District will finance and operate the Convention Center and Hotel Project.  Support of and enthusiasm for this project has grown with the results of multiple feasibility tests, as well as the attraction of Hyatt Regency as the project’s hotel brand.

Why would Hyatt want to build a nice hotel in Baytown?  As the only full-service hotel for the surrounding area, this Hyatt Regency will primarily cater to executives and groups doing business in and around Baytown.  The upscale, full-service property will feature 208 guestrooms and suites, a three-meal restaurant, outdoor pool, fitness center, business center, and gift shop.  

The hotel and convention center will be centrally located and within a short drive of all the major industry facilities.  The location on Bayland Island, and the surrounding amenities, will help differentiate the facilities from the existing select service hotels.  Plus, you can’t beat the views from the site, which offer an unmatched scenic vista of the bay and bridge.  

Baytown needs meeting space, and the convention center will provide a unique setting as a meeting and conference venue.  Onsite will be nearly 18,000 square feet of conference and meeting space.  We look forward to the convention center hosting a number of corporate, trade, and community events which are now relegated to facilities often more than 30 miles from Baytown.

Baytown’s favorable conditions have combined to ensure this project will remain a regional destination and community asset for decades to come.

When all is said and done, the Hyatt Regency and Baytown Convention Center will sit at the foot of the Fred Hartman and provide the ultimate gateway entrance into our city.  More than that, it is a game-changer for our community and communicates loud and clear that Baytown is indeed the capital of “metro-east.”

The total build-out of the Island will still allow additional business/restaurant pads for future development.  

The predominant question I always get about this project is, how are we going to pay the $72 million price tag?   The vast majority – $63 million – of the total cost has already been paid for by private investors, who will be reimbursed by sales tax and future hotel revenues.  The $9 million remaining has been paid by existing sales tax receipts and Hotel Occupancy Tax cash-on-hand.  

The bottom line is that Baytown residents will not be footing the bill through property taxes.  What’s more, after 30 years, the City will become the sole owner of both the convention center and the hotel. 

Tremendous progress has been made on this project in the last couple of months, and we celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony this past September.  Full mobilization of the site on Bayland Island is occurring as we speak, with completion of the project expected in the Spring of 2023.

I hope you’ll agree that investments like this pave the way for a more economically-healthy city.  And speaking of paving, in next week’s article, I will lay out the plan for the reconstruction of Garth Road. 

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