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Jefferson City Council approves Truman Hotel urban renewal plan

The Jefferson City Council unanimously approved an urban renewal plan Monday to revitalize the abandoned former Truman Hotel property off Highway 54.

Under the renewal plan through the housing authority, the developers will get a tax abatement on any improvements on the property for a period of 10 years.

Terms of the resolution state the developers must start construction within 90 days and the project must be completed within 18 months.

In a public hearing for the plan, seven people spoke in support of the plans to build two new hotels and a conference center on the property.

The development will bring 160 permanent jobs to the community in addition to construction jobs, according to former Mayor George Hartsfield who spoke on behalf of the developers, the Puri Group of Enterprises.

ABC 17 News reported that a 2015 study found the property blighted with many issues including mold and cockroach infestations.

Five months ago, the City Council did not approve similar plans to redevelop the property under a 25-year tax increment financing, or TIF, proposal.

Third Ward Councilman Ken Hussey said he thought the shorter-lasting property tax abatement under the urban renewal plan was worth it, since the developers plan to invest $50 million into restoring the blighted area.

“You hope that things are offset by an increase in sales tax and visitors to the community,” Hussey said. “We hope that the lodging tax sees an increase in revenue, obviously. And just the jobs and construction is good for the community.”

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