Before KC City Council releases funding for downtown hotel they want more answers from developers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Plans to build a downtown hotel have hit yet another snag.

City leaders are holding back millions of dollars from the project - until their demands can be met.

City leaders drafted an ordinance on Tuesday withholding the city’s payment of $35 million in cash for the hotel until they can get some clear answers from developers. They want to know exactly how this convention center hotel will be paid for and the terms of all their financial agreements.

With Kansas City investing tens of millions of dollars into this project, government officials want to make sure it is on solid financial footing.

The convention center hotel is expected to cost $320 million, and Loews will operate the 800-room facility.

There have been years of delays with this project, but the developer finally plans to break ground next month. The City Council expected an update on the financials this past summer, but the developers never gave them the documents they requested. So now the city is forcing the developer to give them answers.

Their main concern? Transparency. They want to make sure there is a sound financial plan to prevent bankruptcy later down the line.

This is the first major hotel to be built in downtown Kansas City in more than 30 years, and the city is investing a total of $180 million in land, cash and tax abatements.

The Finance and Governance Committee will gather at 8:30 a.m. to meet with developers and discuss exactly about how they plan to pay for this new hotel.

If City Council members are satisfied with the financials, then the city will release the money and the developer can move ahead with building this downtown hotel.