A 12-person task force has put together its request for proposals and sent it to 15 firms to perform a competitive assessment of the 1.7 acres between the city’s Expo Center and developer John Q. Hammons’ parking garage, city spokesman Michael Brothers said.
The city will hire one firm to conduct the competitive assessment, which was requested by City Council in June.
The task force consists of representatives of the city, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and citizens. It was organized to write an RFP for the land.
“That has been done in the last couple of weeks,” Brothers said.
In June, the city backed off of the idea of repurchasing the land where Hammons has said he intends to build a hotel. Instead, city officials decided to conduct the study.
No timeline has been set for the study to be complete, Brothers said.
Tracy Kimberlin, Convention and Visitors Bureau director and committee chairman, said no cost estimate has been established for the study. He added that the committee is waiting until the proposals are returned to determine an amount to be spent.
The city’s $1 purchase option remains on the table, but council members approved Burris’ proposal to delay that action in order to conduct the study.
The city, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts and the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau have agreed to share the cost of the study, which would look at how Springfield can draw more convention events, the best community use for the lot and ways to improve Expo Center revenues.
In the six full years that Hammons Hotels has managed the Expo Center, revenues met budget projections in only two years, according to city financial statements obtained by Springfield Business Journal. Between 2004 and 2009, the center has realized a total net loss of $410,563 before taxes.[[In-content Ad]]