Midland City Council votes in favor of building downtown 4-star hotel
On Monday, Midland Development Corporation approved its part of an investment package to bring a 4-star hotel to the Tall City.
So, it was the city council's turn to approve the downtown hotel proposal and the commitment of $30 million in taxpayer money.
After three hours of heated discussion and public comment on Tuesday, the developer Midway Companies and its plans for a 4-star spot in Downtown Midland was approved by the city council with a 4-2 vote.
The pitch to Midland City Council included its goal - to make the city a regional destination, and its design inspiration - The La Van Zandt, a full service hotel in Austin.
Although, before the vote was finally counted up, council members Michael Trost and John B. Love - who were the two that voted against the hotel project - asked the developers out of Houston some tough questions. They even had some intense debates with other city council members.
Trost and Love were concerned about all the taxpayer money needed for incentives.
"Being able to build off of the convention center, the park and some of the other development that's coming here, I think this is just another valid use of taxpayer dollars," Midland resident Chris Ginsbach said in contest.
While some community members like Ginsbach spoke up in support during public comment, several local developers took the mic to say their companies didn't need money from the city to put up a full-service luxury hotel.
"It's kind of upsetting that they are considering $30 million of incentive money to bring in an outside company when there are companies here perfectly capable of a project that would be profitable and would serve Midland well," Rachel Overman, Insignia Development Chief Operating Manager, said.
Overman claims Insignia's downtown project idea could have been supported on private funds alone, but she doesn't believe the city council considered its proposal carefully.
There were other Midland residents that took the chance to speak up on a number of different concerns, aside from the incentive price tag included with the project.
"I believe that the city council members actively involved perhaps vetted it in the way they felt was appropriate. However, I don't think all the council members were included in that process," resident Kimberly Crisp explained. "I also know the residents were not included in that process. The first we heard about this formally from the city council was when council man [Scott] Duffard wrote an op-ed piece for the parking garage."
Midway Companies will develop in an existing building on Texas Avenue, adjacent from the New Bush Convention Center and the future Centennial Park.
Midland's City Council has voted in favor of bringing a 4-star hotel to Downtown Midland following a heated meeting on Tuesday morning.
This move comes a day after the Midland Development Corporation approved its part of an investment package to bring the hotel to the Tall City.
Council members Spencer Robnett, Scott Dufford, Sharla Hotchkiss and Midland Mayor Jerry Morales voted in favor of the motion.
Council members Michael Trost and John B. Love III voted against the motion.
The development plan will require $30 million in taxpayer money.
As of now, there is only one hotel in the downtown area.