By Brian Bearden, TSB Contributor
The Gateway Hotel & Conference Center project returned to city council Tuesday night after the brakes were tapped at the last McKinney Community Development Corporation meeting.
With two members absent, the seven-member board of MCDC voted in executive session not to approve the letter of intent [LOI] between the city and developers.
For background, MCDC was asked to consider and act on June 6 upon approval of a letter of intent with Champ Hospitality and Beck Development in regards to Gateway on U.S. 75. The city council had approved the letter of intent the previous night.
“MCDC did not approve the LOI because we are looking for more clarification on this important project,” MCDC board chair Tracy Rath said.
She said the city will schedule a meeting (possibly next week) with MCDC to bring the letter of intent back for funding.
MCDC is a 4B sales tax corporation whose purpose is to enhance McKinney’s aesthetic, cultural and leisure amenities. The MCDC was created in 1996, by the McKinney City Council and residents who recognized the need to set aside money for this important public service. The MCDC is responsible for promoting and funding community facilities and related projects throughout the city.
Board members in addition to Rath (chair) include Jason Burress, Eric Davis, George Fuller (vice chair), Kevin Griffin, Dan Hall (secretary) and Michael Puhl. Their term runs through the summer, and each member of a McKinney board must apply to the city for a new term.
The city council will hold its regular work session at 4 p.m. Tuesday with MCDC’s update by Executive Director Cindy Schneible listed as the first item on the agenda.
However, the letter of intent is not a posted item for today’s update. The posted update covers the news that David Allevato, with the McKinney Armed Services Board, presented a plaque to the MCDC board members to recognize funding and support for the Veterans Memorial at Craig Ranch.
The council will also be updated by MCDC on a project by the Heard Natural Science Museum and Sanctuary. Heard presented a request for $18,335 for the purchase and installation of five video cameras throughout the sanctuary. The cameras will be distributed throughout the three different ecosystems within the sanctuary, with viewing around the clock on the internet. The MCDC board will vote on the project request during the June 28 board meeting.
The work session will be followed by the council meeting at 6 p.m. at 222 North Tennessee Street just off the downtown square.
The last item on tonight’s city council agenda is the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center for the council to consider/Discuss/Act on Approval of a Letter of Intent with Champ Hospitality and Beck Development in Regards to the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center.
UPDATE AFTER TUESDAY’S COUNCIL MEETING
The council decided near the end of the meeting at request of the city manager to remove the Gateway item from Tuesday night’s agenda.
During the council meeting’s citizen input segment, representatives of the Holiday Inn and LaQuinta hotels in McKinney told the council they want another public hearing and want to offer input on the Gateway project with the council. One aspect of their argument is that they are operating without city funds and that a new hotel could impact their businesses. The hotel operators are also upset they have not been part of the discussions.TownSquareBuzz will have more on their views later this week.