WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Plans to build a full-service hotel near the Multi-Purpose Events Center has been put on hold for now.
City manager Darron Leiker said he doesn’t anticipate any activity on the $60 million project until city leaders get a better understanding of the long term Covid-19 impacts, for both the city and the developer, O’Reilly Hospitality Management.
The $43-million dollar hotel, a 200-room, Delta by Marriott Hotel, will be paid for by O’Reilly. The $12-million conference center will be owned and paid for by the city.
The project will be designed by gak Architect. In February, the Wisconsin architectural design company began preparing plans for the construction of the 35,930-square-foot conference center.
Talks of the MPEC convention hotel began in 2015 following a study done by the city to see what would bring more revenue to the MPEC.
In 2016, city leaders hired Gatehouse Capital for the project, after two years, the financing deal fell through. In that deal, Gatehouse Capital would have owned the hotel.
It would’ve borrowed $20 million from a lender, the city would’ve loaned Gatehouse $10 million, and then Gatehouse would have paid all of that money back.
However, at the time, a lender wanted the city to basically co-sign for the loan that would be given to Gatehouse in case the hotel did not succeed.
At that time, Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said that was just too much of a risk for the citizens of Wichita Falls. Therefore, the city backed out of that deal.