The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. entered land purchase, management, and lease agreements with Marble Falls Hotel Group LLC during the EDC’s Sept. 27 meeting. The actions allow for the construction of a planned hotel and conference center. Illustration courtesy of Marble Falls EDC

Legal documents to bring the Marble Falls Hotel and Conference Center closer to reality were signed during a special meeting of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. on Sept. 27. Details were discussed during an executive session before EDC directors voted.

The hotel and conference center will next go before the Marble Falls City Council, which will consider granting the project a 25-year hotel tax abatement of $300,000 during its Oct. 19 meeting. Burnet County commissioners will also consider a 10-year ad valorem tax abatement of 75 percent at an upcoming meeting.

The hotel and conference center is expected to have an economic impact of over $250 million within its first 20 years of operation.

At the Sept. 27 special meeting, EDC directors approved a land purchase agreement, a performance agreement, and a nonexclusive lease and management agreement with Marble Falls Hotel Group LLC following an executive session to discuss legal details.

The project includes a 116-room Tapestry by Hilton hotel and a fully operational conference center to be built on  roughly 3 acres of land along Yett Street and the Marble Falls lakefront. EDC and city officials have been discussing the project for years, with progress being made since 2019.

Construction is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2022. The hotel and conference center should open for operation in mid-2023.

The project will be funded, owned, and operated by Marble Falls Hotel Group LLC, which consists of the Phoenix Hospitality Group, a hotel management and development group, and Hawkins Family Partners LP.

Total project development is expected to cost upwards of $35 million and will be funded through a 50 percent loan and cash equity provided by the hotel group.

The EDC finalized the sale of project site land to the hotel group for $2 million. Directors also approved entering into a 25-year nonexclusive lease and management agreement with the hotel group for use of conference center facilities. The EDC will pay $525,000 for the first three years and $225,000 for the remainder of the agreement. The lease agreement allows the EDC to use conference center facilities throughout its duration.

“The EDC’s financial commitment to the project is tied directly to the conference center in the agreements that were approved yesterday, but the broader rationale for our incentives include a commitment to the public spaces around the property, the boutique nature and service level of the hotel, and overcoming some challenging site characteristics,” said EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher in a statement.

The EDC is also contributing $6.8 million to the project, which will almost completely cover design and construction costs associated with the conference center portion. Contribution funds come from 2016 bonds proceeds dedicated to the project.

brigid@thepicayune.com