Harlingen city commission approves $32 million revenue bond for hotel construction
A convention center several years in the making is expected to bring in more tourism dollars to the city of Harlingen.
The convention center is expected to be complete by mid-December, however, groundbreaking on the planned Hilton Garden Inn next to the new convention center is a year behind schedule due to financing delays.
A local Harlingen business near the convention center site tells CBS 4 they were expecting an increase in tourist business a year ago.
"It’s a little disappointing that there is a delay because that's possible revenue that we could be receiving,” says Bubba Carter, manager at Vermillion Restaurant. “Other than that, we depend on just the local economy for right now."
On Wednesday evening, Harlingen city commissioners voted in favor of adopting a $32 million revenue bond to help start the construction of the convention center hotel.
BC Lynd Hospitality, which will build and operate the hotel, has finally been able to find private tax-exempt bonds to help pay for the project.
Commissioners approved the issuance of a $32 million revenue bond by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority to help finance the cost of the hotel.
BC Lynd’s chief executive officer, Brandon Raney, assured Harlingen tax payers that tax money will not go to paying off the bond.
"City tax payers are not contributing to this hotel project. The city of Harlingen is not contributing to the hotel project. The city of Harlingen is not taking on any liability or financial obligation associated with the hotel project,” Raney says.
At Wednesday night’s city commissioner's meeting, commissioners voted in favor that revenue coming from the hotel's operation will help pay for the bond for the next 40 years.
After the bond is paid off, BC Lynd will then give the city of Harlingen ownership of the hotel.
The start of construction for the hotel at the Harlingen convention center has not been determined.