NORFOLK-- The city announced Friday it had reached an agreement with a developer to build a new hotel/convention center downtown.

Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts headed by developer Bruce Thompson, will build a luxury 300 bed hotel, 50,000 square foot conference center and 600 space parking garage at the corner of Main and Granby Streets.

The new $126 million hotel/conference center will generate nearly $2 million a year in tax revenue, according to the city, and create more than 500 jobs.

The development is a public/private partnership. The hotel is a $64 million private investment and the conference center, a $42.5 million public investment.

The city says the Public Amenities Fund, established in 2003, authorized the city to add a one percent tax on meals and lodging. This fund collects enough money each year to cover the debt service on the conference center.

The estimated cost of the parking garage is $19.5 million and revenue from the parking system will support it, according to a city news release.

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