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County to consider three proposals for convention center and ho

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

Three local teams are in the running to develop a proposed hotel and conference center that officials hope will be an economic boon for the county.

A request for proposals (RFP) that closed Jan. 18 yielded the teams, each of which offered Bridgeport area locations for the project, said Terry Schulte, Planning Commission director.

County commissioners might hear presentations about the proposals as early as next week, she said.

"We've been reviewing the proposals," Schulte said. "I'm working on a chart that shows how each of the groups responded to each item (in the development package)."

Each team is responsible for securing a site, designing and building the hotel and conference center.

Team one is led by Saad Mossallati, Schulte said. Its proposed site is at White Oaks in Bridgeport, Schulte said.

Team two is led by C.E. Compton Trust, Ann's Run, LLC, Schulte said. Its location is adjacent to the Interstate 79 FBI Road interchange and the proposed Route 279 North Bridgeport Bypass, Schulte said.

Team three is led by Petropolus and Associates, Schulte said. Its site is on a continuation of Platinum Drive in Bridgeport, Schulte said.

Financial information about the proposals was not released by the Planning Commission, Schulte said.

Although commissioners might hear formal proposals from the teams soon, there is no deadline for completing the project, she said.

"There is no date because there are so many unknowns," Schulte said. "We don't know what will happen with financing, with the federal budget. There are lots of factors that could affect this positively or negatively."

County commissioners became committed to the project last summer after they were presented with a study by RKG Associates, Inc. That report indicated that a civic center and hotel would be an economic benefit that would attract business to the county.

Under the proposal, the conference center would be coupled with a hotel. The hotel would be privately funded, while the center would be built with public money.

The commission has not yet set a date to formally hear the proposals, Schulte said, but it likely will happen the next time the full commission meets.

The next step in the process will be formal interviews, she said.

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