With over $479.8 million in bonds sold out of the $514 million necessary to build a 1,016-room convention center hotel in downtown, the city of Dallas is ready to break ground.
The city has set the date of Sept. 15 to get the actual, 28-month construction phase under way. A few weeks ago, the city voted to give the job of development to Matthews Southwest at a price of $346 million.
The bonds were sold at an even smaller interest rate than projected, at 4.6 rather than 5.5 percent. The city got some perfect timing thanks to the stimulus package. Federal Build America Bonds comprised $386.5 million of the bonds sold. They have higher yields than similarly rated corporate debt and the government refunds 35 percent of the interest rate.
"We said this would be a good deal for Dallas taxpayers, and with this start, it will be even better," Mayor Tom Leppert said in a press release.
The start has been auspicious, but making money after it's built is what really counts. Many still worry about the hotel because if it loses money, the city could have to make payments to bond holders out of its own budget.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.