Arizona Supreme Court agreed to review Arizona Attorney General’s lawsuit against ASU-Omni Hotels deal ahead of ceremony
ASU and Tempe City Council members inaugurated the new Omni Tempe Hotel Friday morning, three days after the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to review the decision of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich trial targeting ASU’s agreement with hotel developers.
The $ 125,000,000 facility located at 7 E. University Dr. will have 330 rooms and is expected to be completed in 18 months. It will have 30,000 square feet of conference space, making it Tempe’s largest conference center.
According to ASU website for the hotel, it will be a venue used for university-related events such as lecturers and public functions in addition to its main function as a hotel.
Jay Thorne, an ASU spokesperson, said he hopes the Omni Hotel will be a new focal point for Tempe in “downtown revitalization.”
“There are always detractors and opponents of any project that any of us do,” he said. “But I believe these critics have a political agenda rather than monitoring the mission of universities.”
Lower courts have twice ruled against Brnovich in his claims that the agreement “unduly exempted the hotel and conference center from property taxes.” The deal would exempt Omni Hotels and Resorts from paying property taxes because the hotel is built on University land, and the University would receive rent payments for the hotel.
Brnovich’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the trial in time for publication.
At the event, ASU President Michael Crow said the project represented “further maturation” for ASU into one of the country’s leading centers of teaching, learning and discovery. .
“It’s a community of communities, hundreds or thousands of groups who want to be here, who want to be associated with us. And we needed this partnership. We needed this hotel and are very, very excited that it is finally underway, ”Crow said.
Crow said he sees the Omni Hotel as an extension of the ASU campus.
“You are not building a university surrounded by walls,” he said. “You can’t build a university without people being here. It is a community. “
The Mayor of Tempe, Corey Woods anticipates that the hotel’s location will help small businesses in bringing tourists and event attendees to Tempe.
“(It) will be a real game-changer for all of us,” Woods said at the event. “This new Omni hotel will help our businesses thrive and generate revenue that funds city services that help all of our residents. ”
According to John Creer, vice president of real estate development at ASU, the partnership between the hotel and the university has been underway for eight years, with various concepts being abandoned until the final design.
“I have worked (at ASU for) almost eight years, and on my second day here, I found myself in a meeting regarding this site,” Creer said. “There is a lot to do to put a shovel in the ground. “
Woods said the city of Tempe worked for decades to make investments that made the city what it is today, all of which led to the development of the Omni Hotel.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and are delighted to welcome the Omni to Tempe,” said Woods. “The hotel is incredibly meaningful to us and we can’t wait to see it come to fruition.”
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