Jonesboro A&P no longer committed to Keller Project - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro A&P no longer committed to Keller Project

Jerry Morgan (Source: KAIT) Jerry Morgan (Source: KAIT)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission will no longer commit to the $300,000 Keller convention center project.

The commissions chairman, Jerry Morgan, made that announcement at Wednesdays A&P meeting.

Morgan said Chris Keller, whose family would own the Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center on Browns Lane, failed to send all the items the commission requested in a letter to Keller.

In a letter, we received from the Kellers, there was, in the first item, a note that there was an attached letter from their investor, Morgan said. That wasnt there. We did request from the Kellers a couple of times to get that, and we have not received that, yet. We emailed them a couple of different times and did not get a response.

In late February, the project was put on hold because the projects investor was months behind on money.

At the last meeting, the city requested Keller to return $70,000 in funding to the commission after learning that money was in a local bank, drawing interest for the Keller Group.

Because of all the uncertainty with the financing and the problems that they've had previously, again, these funds were not able to use for other projects if we continue to commit to that project, Morgan said. So, we just felt like at this time it was best for us to cut off our commitment and help fund our other local projects.

Morgan said they are now able to use that funding to fund local projects that were cut last year.

We were able to go back today and look at projects that got cut last year and do some additional funding, the Downtown Jonesboro Association, the Hispanic Community Center, he said. Some of those projects were tabled last year and we were able to come back and give those funding at this point.

Morgan also received a call on Wednesday from Tim OReilly, the principal in the Embassy Suites project that sits on A-States campus.

OReilly told Morgan he plans on breaking ground in 60 to 90 days.

He did say he plans on moving forward pretty quick, Morgan said. He said that he has a new contractor here on the project. My response to him was that we would be glad to look at any proposals they want to bring to us.

Morgan said both of the projects are separate from each other and the commission is looking at them separately, too.

As of now, the commission has made no decision on funding for the Embassy Suites project. 

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