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John Q. Hammons Announces Plans for Downtown Hotel

Springfield developer John Q. Hammons unveiled his plans today to build what he calls a "top-of-the-line" hotel in downtown Springfield.

KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports how this affects Springfield's downtown revitalization.

"A shot in the arm"...that's what Springfield's economic development director calls plans for a new downtown hotel.

John Q. Hammons announced his plans this morning to build a five to seven story hotel next to the University Plaza Convention Center on St. Louis Street.

He says the hotel will be joined together with the convention center, University Plaza Hotel and the Expo Center across the street.

Hammons says the hotel will improve the downtown area.

John Q. Hammons' announcement comes four days after the city's Tax Increment Financing or TIF Commission rejected his proposal for an office building in a nearby space.

The TIF Commission looked at proposals for the empty lot just across the street from University Plaza's Convention Center in between the Expo Center and Jordan Valley parking garage.

Brian Fogle is the chair of the TIF Commission.

He says the commission rejected Hammons proposal because it was too similar to another proposal.

Hammons had proposed building office space for BKD, while the firm had submitted its own separate proposal for office space.

The TIF Commission also accepted a proposal by developer Rick Huffman who developed Branson Landing.

Huffman's company, HCW, proposed building a four-star hotel with meeting rooms and residential condominiums.

Brian Fogle says Hammons' announcement today doesn't change the commission's recommendations, but that the potential for two four-star hotels in the area would be taken into consideration.

John Q. Hammons says construction of his 550-room hotel will begin next year and cost between 35 and 40 million dollars.

Hammons declined to give the name of the new hotel.

Mary Lilly Smith is the economic development director for the city of Springfield.

She says Hammons' latest hotel is a great investment for downtown Springfield.

Hammons says more announcements will be made throughout the year about his plans for the hotel.

As for the empty lot between the Expo Center and the Jordan Valley parking garage, the TIF Commission will meet April 9th to discuss the remaining two proposals.