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Newcrest Image joins downtown redevelopment efforts

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Amarillo, TX - The redevelopment of Downtown Amarillo took a huge step forward Thursday, with the announcement of a new partnership between the master developer and a new developer for the proposed convention hotel.

For several months, NewsChannel 10 has reported that the empty lot on Buchanan Street downtown across from City Hall and the parking lot across from the Amarillo Civic Center will eventually be occupied by a convention hotel and parking garage. But, financing for the hotel was hanging up any progression on the project.

Thursday, that changed. Master developer Wallace Bajjali announced a partnership with Newcrest Image, the same company that owns and operates the Courtyard Marriott on Polk Street. Now, Newcrest will be responsible for securing and handling the traditional financing for the hotel. That partnership was approved unanimously Thursday by the Amarillo Local Government Corporation. This partnership does not mean there's any change when it comes to tax payer involvement. There will still be no tax dollars used to build the hotel, parking garage, or baseball complex.

One of the only questions left to be answered is when is the groundbreaking, when will Amarillo citizens finally see some construction downtown? Unfortunately, that answer remains unknown at this point.

Officials with Wallace Bajjali said that with the recent announcement from Coca-Cola and their plans to be in the new facility by January 2015, construction on the baseball complex would begin then. If that holds true, most of the work on the hotel and parking garage would hopefully be near completion at that time also.

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