The Bellevue City Council on Monday approved a new hotel and conference center in the Twin Creek development near 36th Street and Raynor Parkway, an area the city annexed last year.
The city will build and operate the conference center at a cost of $8 million. It will be financed with a bond issue.
Kinseth Hospitality will bear the $14 million cost to build an adjacent 124-room Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The hotel chain already has approved a franchise agreement.
Jim Ristow, president of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, said the project will be an anchor for more development. “We’re right on the edge of something great happening,” he said.
The audience broke into applause after the 4-1 vote.
Supporters hope the project will boost tax revenue for the city, which recently voted to help cover a $5 million budget shortfall by raising property taxes.
Ward 3 Councilman Paul Cook, worried about hidden costs, cast the vote against the project. He said the issue ought to be decided by the voters.
Steve Carmichael, who was elected to the Ward 1 seat in a special election in October, was absent from the meeting. But he asked Councilwoman Kathy Saniuk to read a statement he had prepared saying he agreed with the idea of a ballot issue.
“If approved by the citizens, I would wholeheartedly support it,” he said.
The city hopes to break ground on the complex by August, with construction completed by the end of 2015.
“Now the real work begins,” Mayor Rita Sanders said.