Hospitality plans at the Missouri State Penitentiary redevelopment project are getting a boost from state funding.Originally decommissioned as a state prison in 2004, the grounds of MSP were sought by the city for redevelopment into a hotel, conference center, parking facilities as well as other multi-use facilities. In the summer of 2017, the state conveyed nearly 32 acres of the old prison, between the MSP historic site and Chestnut Street, to Jefferson City.This week, the Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded a $2.1 million grant through the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program to help with the city’s efforts.Rachel Senzee, neighborhood services supervisor for Jefferson City, said the funds were earmarked for the hospitality components of the MSP Redevelopment Master Plan, a 30-page city document outlining the vision and feasibility of the project. While she didn’t outline specific ways the funds would be spent, she said the city would prioritize its planned tourism and accommodation developments.”The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic halted hospitality financing, which created delays for all aspects of the project,” Senzee said. “The goal of the grant is to provide funding to build out the hospitality components of the redevelopment in an effort to support the unique Missouri State Penitentiary tourism site.”Senzee said 2021 and 2022 came with their own challenges, such as a 34 percent increase in construction costs.The city is planning on a 150-suite Tapestry by Hilton set to replace the penitentiary’s Housing Unit Five, which was heavily damaged in the 2019 tornado. The developer of the 330,000-square-foot planned hotel, David Farley, also handled the Broadway Hotel in Columbia and plans to bring a similar rooftop bar space to the MSP location.The site is also expected to house a conference center, parking facilities as well as other multi-use facilities, including labs and offices for state agencies and associations.Earlier this month, the Jefferson City Council voted to open its master developer agreement with Chesterfield Hotels and architecture firm Arcturis, allowing the city to explore its options with other interested developers. The move allows for new teams to work on ideas for the project without prohibiting Chesterfield from bidding on the project.The state’s Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program, launched in October, awards grants to organizations impacted by the pandemic. Maggie Kost, acting Missouri Department of Economic Development director, said in a news release that the tourism industry, which was sent reeling by the pandemic, has a substantial impact on the state.”The tourism industry has an $18.4 billion impact on Missouri’s economy, supporting more than 280,000 jobs. It was also one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic,” Kost said. “That’s why, through this program, we’re committed to investing in the recovery and future growth of Missouri tourism. This is just another way we’re building a stronger economy and creating greater opportunities for Missourians.”Another $2.1 million state grant, this time through the Community Revitalization Grant Program, was awarded to the city last month for asbestos mitigation, demolition work and rehabilitation for parts of the MSP site.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
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