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OREM, DEVELOPER EXTEND DEADLINE

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Orem's decision to extend the date for executing an agreement on the University Plaza Hotel and Orem Convention Center should not be construed as any kind of a stumble for the $17 million project, said the city manager.

Jim Reams, presenting the extension request to the City Council, said both parties involved need more time to work out details.Reams said the request would merely move the date for executing the formal agreement between John Q. Hammons Industries and the city from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1. The deadline for groundbreaking would move from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15.

Councilman Stephen Sandstrom said he had talked with Rick Parkinson, a partner in the project, very recently and Parkinson assured him "the project is a go" and "it is on track."

Sandstrom said his experience with Parkinson lends him to believe everything is OK with the venture.

Hammons is proposing a joint agreement with Orem to build a seven-story high-rise hotel at the mouth of Provo Canyon on property being vacated by Utah Power.

Hammons would acquire the 15-acre plot, develop and maintain the hotel, which will include 235 rooms, a central atrium and top floor restaurant, and ground floor improvements.

Hammons would lease space from Orem for an attached convention center in exchange for the city's maximum $9 million investment, which will be provided through a combination of grants and redevelopment funding.

He would be responsible for all taxes and insurances and guarantee lease revenue of at least $100,000 annually for 30 years. For the following 25 years, that amount would increase to at least $400,000 annually.

Orem will be responsible to provide sewer, water and parking space to the property and help acquire access to 800 North Street and University Avenue.

Both parties signed a letter of intent earlier in July agreeing to the conditions.

All council members voted in favor of the extension.