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New Agreement Proposed To Move Monroe Co. Convention Center Project Forward

Additional banquet halls and hotel would be built here with a tube bridge connecting to the original space. (WFIU/WTIU News file)

Bloomington mayor John Hamilton is expected to sign a new memorandum of understanding today that will get the Monroe County convention center expansion project moving forward again.

The previous agreement between the city and the county dissolved two months ago over whether Sun Development’s Embassy Suites was the preferred hotel for the project. County officials say Sun Development was the only viable option. City leaders claim that was before the food and beverage tax passed and that process should now open up again.

Bloomington Deputy Mayor Mick Renneisen says the new agreement focuses on choosing an architect for the convention expansion, not a private hotel developer.

"Here’s where we might see the hotel site developing… here’s where we’re going to build our convention center and we think that sequence kinda makes sense and therefore putting pause on the hotel decision at this time, we don’t think is going to have any deleterious effects on the project," says Renneisen.

The steering committee’s next task is to hear from the seven architects who are waiting to see if they’ll be called back for round two of interviews. Renneisen says he hopes that will come together within the next several weeks.

As to how the county and city will eventually move forward on formalizing the hotel developer, Renneisen says it’s a topic for future discussion.

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