Downtown revitalization is coming like a herd of wild buffalo stampeding downhill towards Amarillo.

Yesterday the final documents were approved by the Local Government Corporation(LGC) clearing the final hurdle before construction on the 4-star convention center facility can begin.  It will be getting underway very soon.  The hotel will compete directly with the Amarillo Civic Center for conventions and events.  It is somewhat controversial but that controversy pales in comparison to the uproar over another big project of downtown revitalization, The Mult-Purpose Event Venue or MPEV.  The least amount of outrage concerns the multi-level parking garage that will hold 750 cars.  Presumably most agree that if the city is going to build the hotel and MPEV the associated parking garage would be needed.

The $45 million Embassy Suites facility will include 200 rooms and convention rooms.  Along with the MPEV it is a cornerstone of downtown redevelopment in Amarillo.  The LGC has literally been working for years to make the Convention Center Hotel a reality.

The hotel is budgeted to cost $45 million.  Southwest Bank is funding $28 million of the project while the remaining balance is being funded by unnamed investors.  According to the LGC they are not entitled to know who those investors are and in fact, they are not interested in knowing the identities of those investors.  The LGC is mainly concerned with who is in control of the project, who can build it, and who can operate it.

The loan with Southwest Bank closes on Friday.  Construction will get underway on Monday, October 5th.  Embassy Suites will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the hotel on Friday, October 16th at 11am across from City Hall.