CASPER, WY - The AMOCO Reuse Joint Powers Board met Wednesday to discuss the Wyoming Business Council Loan for infrastructure at the site of the proposed Casper Convention Center.
They say board members are very optimistic to move forward.
Last Thursday state loan and investment board members voted to loan 2.5 million dollars to begin installing infrastructure in the Platte River Commons area.
Now the AMOCO Reuse Joint Powers Board must see to it that all 35 acres have infrastructure developed.
"My hope is that the 35 acres can all be provided with infrastructure at the same time. It would make very little sense to do half and then do half another day, another time. It would just be more expensive,” said City Manager John Patterson.
With no set timeline on the project, board members are still very optimistic to get the project going.
"We're going back to our partners, which are Refined Properties, J.J. M Group, and City of Casper. We're short basically 2.5 million dollars. All the partners involved are dedicated to this project," said AMOCO Joint Powers Vice Chairman Neil Benton.
Businesses are already collaborating with the board to fill the empty lot.
"We do have our developers, our partners, here at AMOCO Joint Powers Board. They do have interests to by a couple of other projects that could go out there," said Benton.
City officials have roughly 12 city blocks to work with.
"There's about 17 acres for the hotel and for the perspective conference center and then the balance would be mixed use, retail, other offices. There’s a doctor’s office being put in right now," said Patterson.
Patterson says he's seen a change in the community's outlook on the project.
"Not only will it energize downtown, but OYD, the Old Yellowstone District. It'll just help there tremendously,” Patterson said. “Even now, since the SLIB board vote last Thursday, people are coming back into the game."
Council members anticipate an influx of money for the city.
"Imagine the development of that with a large convention center. A hotel that could employ 100 plus people, that could bring in, you know. I believe the study through Casper was estimated 10 million dollars in revenue to the city of Casper. That can benefit, restaurants, shopping areas, even all the local hotels,” said Benton.
Construction on the infrastructure is expected to start in the spring.
If all goes well, The Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.
City officials believe businesses will be flocking once a game plan is developed for dividing up the space on the lot.