Possible Resolution of Long-Standing Hotel Feud

An item appears on today's City Council meeting agenda that may end a four-year feud over hotel development in Tacoma.

In 2009 Hollander Development acquired a piece of land on the Foss Waterway, with the intention of building a hotel (this after three previous developers failed to make their plans for a hotel on the site a reality). In case you hadn't noticed, the lot still sits empty. Provenance Hotels, parent company of the Hotel Murano, has spent the last few years throwing a series of legal objections at Hollander, tying up the project in court. Among other complaints, Provenance says that the Hollander would most likely not be a union business, and so would have an unfair advantage over the Murano, which is unionized.

Now, after a series of court losses for the Murano ownership, and disappointed hopes for Hollander, a deal with the City of Tacoma may finally shut the book on the Provenance objections. The deal on the table for Council consideration tonight would sell the two City-owned parking lot parcels just south of the Murano to its parent company for $1.25 million. In exchange for the property, Provenance would agree to drop all existing legal challenges to the development of the Hollander hotel project, and promise not to bring future challenges against either that project or the hotel project the City has proposed just south of Tacoma's Convention Center.

The City has a stake in the Hollander/Murano feud for a couple reasons. First, the Foss Waterway Development Authority, which has been working to get the site developed since 1999, is a City agency. Secondly, the City has been losing business at the Convention Center and the Tacoma Dome for years, due to a lack of available rooms for large events. Not enough hotel rooms in downtown Tacoma has meant that the event spaces have not been able to book to their full capacity. The construction of the hotel on the Foss, then, would be an advantage for Tacoma's competitiveness in attracting large conventions, as would the ultimate development of the mixed-use/hotel project south of the Convention Center on property currently owned by the City. 

Are we ready to put this all behind us at last?

Also seen from the TNT.


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