GREEN BAY - City leaders are holding firm that a Main Street transformation near the Fox River should be complete by the spring of 2015. It includes expanding the KI Convention Center to connect to a redeveloped Clarion Hotel.
"We don't want to be short on hotel rooms when we open up," said Rob Strong, Green Bay's community development director. "We want to have enough rooms to handle the people coming down for the conferences."
The architect for the KI project showed updated renderings to the city's Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday. The project would nearly double the convention center's current capacity of about 3,000 people.
"Even though the building can support 6,000 people, it will probably be rare occasions that you'd have a city-wide convention, but you could get it," said Ken Betsch, the architect for the project.
Financing for the KI expansion is still being figured out, including what the project's budget will be. However city leaders say the project is on schedule and ground should be broken before the end of the year.
The same is hoped for the Clarion Hotel project, but city aldermen still need to decide between two options.
The options for it include a $6.7 million project with the hotel's current management firm, American Hospitality Management. The other option, with Edgewater Resources, would demolish the current building to make way for a new 16-story, four-star hotel.
The city owns the Clarion Hotel.
"We can accommodate the development much better if we know what it is than if we go ahead and build our piece and then have to bring something new to it, so the sooner we can get that resolved the better," said Strong.
"We have enough flexibility built into our plan so either plan would work with it," said Betsch.
The city council is expected to vote on a Clarion option next Tuesday.
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