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Jonesboro’s Hyatt Convention Center Woes ContinueLock Icon

2 min read

It’s hard to imagine, but it’s getting worse for the $30 million Hyatt Place Hotel & Convention Center project that started in Jonesboro in late 2016.

As you undoubtedly remember, construction came to a halt earlier this year.

That was after contractors slapped liens on what was to be a 165-room Hyatt Place project and 37,000-SF convention center because they weren’t getting paid by the owner, Northern Arkansas Hotel & Convention Center LLC.

And Jonesboro’s Advertising & Promotion Commission backed out of committing $300,000 in tax revenue to the project, saying developer Chris Keller did not provide information that the commission requested.

In July, it seemed as if brighter days were ahead for the convention center. Northern Arkansas Hotel agreed to pay $1.5 million to the general contractor, Construction Network Inc. of Jonesboro, to settled its claims.

Once all the payments are made, then “everybody has agreed to start work,” which could be before the end of the year, Tony Wilcox, a Jonesboro attorney who is representing CNI, said in August.

“At this time, we have no reason to believe that there will be any failure to fulfill the payment obligations,” he said.

But that was then. The first payment of $1 million wasn’t paid and a second payment of nearly $500,000 also didn’t come through, according to CNI’s court filing.

Last month, CNI filed a motion to place a judgment against Northern Arkansas Hotel so it can begin the collection process. In addition to the amount owed, CNI wants attorneys’ fees and interest.

Northern Arkansas Hotel said in its court filing on Dec. 8 that CNI’s request should be denied because its motion didn’t include any supporting documents.

As of last Thursday, a ruling hasn’t been made.

The attorney for Northern Arkansas Hotel, Jim Lyons of Jonesboro, was unavailable for comment last week. Wilcox also was unavailable for comment.

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