County Cautious Over Hotel/Conference Center Proposal

After two unsuccessful attempts, the city of College Station is once again pursuing a new hotel and conference center. And like before, the project's first major deal maker, or deal breaker, will be Brazos County.

To get the ball rolling, College Station wants to set up a tax increment finance zone (TIF) around the proposed location. This time in Northgate.
But since the property is in the jurisdictions of both College Station and Brazos County, the TIF can't be created without the county's cooperation.

In College Station's previous try at a hotel/conference center three years ago, the county joined the TIF. But that project, located on the Highway 60, collapsed. The county dissolved its participation in the TIF in June, 2004.

Brazos County Judge Randy Sims insists the failure of that deal did not sour the county on the hotel/conference center concept. But he readily admits times have changed and the county has some reservations about this particular proposal. Namely, the 30-year lifespan of this proposed TIF. "I'm definitely not interested in a 30 year TIF," said Sims Friday. "You want to get it back on the property tax rolls as fast as you can. I mean that's what benefits the rest of the community."

College Station is expected to present the plan to Brazos County at the June 6 Commissioners Court meeting.