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The Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center will be built on a portion of City-owned property located adjacent to the Smart Financial Centre (SFC) and plaza.
In 2007, the City of Sugar Land’s citizen-led Visioning Task Force identified a Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center as one of the five specific destination venues for the City to pursue. Overall, these efforts are part of a larger, successful strategy that has been in place for more than a decade to grow and solidify Sugar Land’s reputation as an economic powerhouse and destination location – as well as increase the City’s financial resilience through the development of unique destination venues. With the completion of a minor league baseball stadium (completed 2012), an indoor live entertainment venue (completed 2017), a festival site (completed 2017), the next step is to begin the selection of a private-sector development partner for the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center project.
The design of the project will be determined in partnership with the selected partner. Overall, the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center is envisioned as a 350-room upper upscale or luxury full-service hotel with an adjoining convention/conference center of up to 50,000 sq. foot and supported by structured parking.
Similar to Constellation Field and Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, any City financial support of this project will be limited to capital investment from project-generated revenues and funds restricted by state law for tourism and economic development purposes – further offsetting the demand on property taxes for residents through the resulting economic growth. No general property tax dollars will go to support the development or operation of the project. Additionally, and unique to this project, the City was also successful in 2017 in qualifying for a state rebate program that will allow for project-generated state hotel and sales taxes to be rebated for a period of time in support of the project.
No. Not only will general property tax dollars NOT be used to support this project, the resulting economic growth will benefit residents as it further offsets the demand on residential property taxes by expand Sugar Land’s economy, adding jobs and tourism revenue that ensures Sugar Land is able to fund the high level of services expected of its residents while maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates.
No. While the City is excited to take the next step in fulfilling the citizen-led Visioning Task Force, we remain committed to continuing to do absolutely everything we can to support the private sector development team in the preservation and revitalization of the Imperial refinery site. Additionally, with a diverse set of funding mechanisms restricted for economic development, we are also able to simultaneously continue pursuing the redevelopment of the Central Prison into a world-class light industrial business park.
Yes. Consistent with the established practice of protecting the City’s business and financial interests, the City envisions the selection of a private development partner who will bring financial resources and construction expertise to build and operate a 350-room nationally branded hotel and a convention (conference) center with up to 50,000 square feet as recommended by a previously completed feasibility study. Additionally, the project must be commercially feasible, as the City will not provide any ongoing operational support.
Designed as an upper upscale or luxury destination amenity venue with a nationally recognized brand, the Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center is intended to attract large conferences that generate overnight guests who shop and dine in Sugar Land. Not only will this project bring new dollars into the community, it is also anticipated that many of Sugar Land and even Fort Bend County based businesses will now have additional space at which to host many of their large-scale meetings and conferences – recognizing this project is larger than any existing hotel/conference centers in Sugar Land. Additionally, since close to 75% of Smart Financial Centre attendees come from outside of Fort Bend County, we envision many people will further their Sugar Land entertainment experience by staying in the adjacent hotel as well.
Development on the City’s property and within Telfair Tract 5 will have no impact to Ditch H or Telfair. The Tract 5 property is within Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District (LID) 17. This LID has provided all of the required detention for existing and future development within its boundaries. The project location actually does not drain into Ditch H. This location drains through LID facilities to the Brazos River south west of the UH campus through a control structure that is operated by the LID. Additionally, there are specific site drainage requirements and standards for development within the City of Sugar Land. All development (commercial, single-family residential, office, etc.) must be built in accordance with City engineering standards and will follow national and local standards. As per City regulations, all development within the City of Sugar Land must have no drainage impact on other areas when designed for the 1% probability flood event.
From Sugar Land Town Square to the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land to Constellation Field to the Smart Financial Centre, the City has worked with reputable developers to design and provide amenities that not only attract new businesses and a generate new dollars in the community, but that also benefit the residents of Sugar Land. These partnerships have proven to be extremely successful, attracting approximately 1,000,000 combined attendees per year and generating significant economic benefit to the community. In particular, the adjacent Smart Financial Centre has annually attracted more than 350,000 paid attendees during its first two years of operation, earning continued global recognition as one of the world’s top ten theatre venues and providing a projected annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million over 30 years.
Whether venues or major commercial developments, the City has had an intentional strategy of growing and solidifying the City’s economy and position within region as economic powerhouse through the development of major destinations. This decades-plus strategy has been guided by several principles, including: (a) selectively choosing the highest quality partners with a demonstrated track record of success; (b) protecting the City’s business and financial interest by limiting risk – e.g. assignment of ongoing operational responsibilities to the private-sector, limiting the City’s contributions to capital investment and requiring private-sector equity contributions; and (c) leveraging the use of restricted or project-generated revenues to offset the demand for residential property taxes through the resulting economic growth.
The Hotel and Convention (Conference) Center project will continue to build upon Sugar Land’s reputation as an economic powerhouse and destination location. A project of this scale will protect and grow Sugar Land’s market share within the Houston region.
To ensure fairness and full access to the same information for all firms that are interested in developing and eventually operating the venue, all communication is being routed thought he City’s Purchasing Office as part of their professional standard responsibilities.