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Big plans near this Charlotte light rail stop are a step closer to reality

The City of Charlotte approved $8 million to help pay for an $87 million hotel and conference center near the JW Clay Boulevard light-rail station at UNC Charlotte.
The City of Charlotte approved $8 million to help pay for an $87 million hotel and conference center near the JW Clay Boulevard light-rail station at UNC Charlotte. City of Charlotte

An $87 million project to build a conference center and hotel on the campus of UNC Charlotte at the J.W. Clay Boulevard light rail station is getting closer to reality.

Charlotte City Council on Tuesday approved rezoning the area and spending up to $8 million to subsidize part of the project, paid for by local hospitality taxes.

Construction is estimated to begin in January with a target open date of September 2020, according to terms between the city and the UNC Charlotte Foundation — a nonprofit that supports the university.

The project will bring conferences to the campus and have a positive economic impact on the area, Councilman Greg Phipps said during Tuesday’s council meeting.

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UNCC cited estimates that project the hotel and conference center will create roughly 210 jobs once it opens.

Plans for the project call for a Marriott Hotel to have 226 rooms and a parking garage. The conference center will be 24,000 square feet.

The foundation owns the 4.7 acres at the corner of J.W. Clay Boulevard and North Tryon Street. The hotel will be owned by the foundation and the conference center will be owned by the city, but leased by the foundation at $1 per year for 30 years, according to the terms.

Cassie Cope: 704-358-5926, @cassielcope.
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