As Missouri’s capital city, Jefferson City is home to a diverse community of business and government operations. Those private and public business partners have long awaited a state-of-the-art conference center to better meet their needs right here in Jefferson City. Whether it’s to serve the needs of state government, our 120+ statewide industry associations, business and community trade shows, award ceremonies, fundraising events, live entertainment, or weddings/receptions, having the modern event space with on-site lodging, parking, and accessibility to our downtown businesses and Capitol Complex are critical.  

As part of the Madison Street Parking Garage replacement project, the city sought to acquire the site of Jefferson City News Tribune, providing the opportunity to redevelop an entire half-block of downtown Jefferson City. The city looks to maximize this site’s redevelopment by transforming it into a dynamic mixed-use development, including a conference center, full-service hotel, and new parking garage anchoring a broader downtown revitalization. 


Preliminary Site Assessment

To determine the suitability of the downtown site for the desired project components, JCREP and Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau (JCCVB) contracted with FACET Architectural Design to develop a Preliminary Site Assessment. The assessment illustrates one example of how the proposed conference center, hotel, and parking garage could be situated on the site which gave the project team confidence to further pursue the concept.

News Tribune Site

Concurrently with the decision to replace the Madison Street Parking Garage, the News Tribune expressed a desire to vacate their facility at 210 Monroe Street. Recognizing the value of controlling additional property adjacent to the parking garage, the city initiated the purchase of the property from the News Tribune.

September 19, 2023 City Approves Purchase Agreement for News Tribune Property
November 30, 2023 City Acquires News Tribune Property
April 15, 2024 City Approves Contract to Demolish News Tribune Building
July 2024 Demolition Complete

Project Announcement

The city, in conjunction with JCCVB, Downtown Jefferson City, and JCREP announce the renewed effort to develop a conference center, hotel, and parking garage at the site of the existing Madison Street Parking Garage and the News Tribune property.

Developer Selection

JCREP was authorized to act on the city’s behalf to solicit qualifications of development teams, evaluate submittals, and make a recommendation to the city council for lead development partner. The submitted qualifications were evaluated by a panel of stakeholders including the city, Cole County, JCCVB, Downtown Jefferson City, and the State of Missouri. Based on the results of the evaluation, the panel made the recommendation to select Garfield Public/Private (GPP) as the lead developer.

Pre-Development Services

GPP will work with the city and other community partners to develop a strategic business plan which details how the city could proceed with the project. The business plan will include a hotel/conference center market study, downtown parking study, conceptual designs, development schedule, cost estimates, operating pro forma and financing plan.

February 21, 2024 Project Kickoff Meeting
March 18, 2024 City Council approves Pre-Development Services Agreement with GPP
Spring 2024 Hotel/Conference Center Market Study
Spring 2024 Downtown Parking Study
Summer 2024 Conceptual Architectural Design
Fall 2024 Preliminary Construction Cost Estimates
Fall 2024 Preliminary Financing Plan
Winter 2024 Final Strategic Business Plan Report

Final Project Design

With city council approval of the strategic business plan, GPP and their development team will proceed with completing final architectural and engineering designs for the project.

Spring 2025 – Summer 2025


Summer 2025 – Winter 2026

Grand Opening

Spring 2027


Q: Where will the new conference center be located?

A:  The proposed Conference Center project is located on Capitol Avenue between Madison Street and Monroe Street.  The existing Madison Street parking garage and the Jefferson City News Tribune currently occupy the site.  Both structures will be demolished as part of the redevelopment.

Q: Other than the conference center, what other facilities will the project include?

A:  A critical component to the success of the conference center will be the adjoining full-service nationally branded hotel. Conference attendees desire on-site access to lodging, restaurants and bars, business center, swimming pool, fitness center, and other amenities.

To accommodate the existing demand from downtown business and state government, as well as the added demand from the conference center and hotel, a new parking garage will be constructed to replace the existing Madison Street parking garage.  The new parking garage will incorporate modern design features including adequate drive lanes and parking stalls, access control, lighting, and security.

The development team will also explore additional opportunities to include storefronts for leased retail, restaurant, or office spaces.

Q: Who will develop the project?

A:  The project development team will be led by Garfield Public/Private, LLC (GPP) from Dallas, Texas. GPP has over 25 years of experience developing and financing headquarter hotels that support conference centers, hotel/convention centers, and other public facilities.  GPP will be responsible for coordinating the work of planning, design, construction, and financial service professionals and incorporating those elements into a strategic business plan which will serve as a complete blueprint for the development.  With city approval of the strategic business plan, GPP will lead the development team from final project design and construction to opening of the facility.

Q: How will the project be financed?

A:  Once the project program and preliminary cost estimates have been completed, the city and developer will create a public/private financing structure that identifies the sources of capital necessary to construct the project. Capital sources will include the existing 4% lodging tax dedicated to the conference center and bonds secured by revenue generated from operation of the hotel and parking garage.  Other sources may include tax abatements, TIF/CID, grants or philanthropic contributions.  

Q: When will the project be completed?

A:  The preliminary planning and development of the strategic business plan will take place throughout the remainder of 2024 at which time it will be submitted to the city for review.  With the approval of the strategic business plan by the city, detailed architectural and engineering design will commence and is expected to be completed in summer 2025 with construction immediately following.  Construction is expected to take 20 to 24 months, and it is anticipated the conference center will be open for business early to mid-2027.

Q: Why does Jefferson City need a new conference center?

A:  The current facilities in Jefferson City can accommodate conference groups of up to approximately 350 people.  A new facility with larger and more modern meeting and exhibit space would allow the city to go to the next level of bringing in new conferences/conventions into our city and keep them as repeat customers. Building a larger facility will bring new business here, which means new dollars, translating into new tax revenues.

Jefferson City is home to more than 120 statewide industry associations and state government, all of which host conferences. Unfortunately, these conferences are being held outside of Jefferson City due to lack of enough space under one roof, and/or lack of quality, modern space to accommodate their meeting/exhibit space requirements. We’re losing this business to Columbia, Lake of the Ozarks, Springfield, St. Charles, and Branson. The proposed conference center is centrally and conveniently located within walking distance from the Missouri State Capitol and is accessible by Highways 50, 54, and 63.

Q: How many hotel rooms are in Jefferson City? How much meeting space?

A:  Jefferson City currently has 14 hotels with 1,382 rooms. While two new hotels have opened in the last few years, the total number of rooms has remained consistent for more than 10 years.

Jefferson City currently has a total of approximately 34,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across multiple facilities.  The largest single facility is 23,000 sq. ft. which includes a 12,000 sq. ft. ballroom.  Due to the closure of outdated facilities, there has been a net loss of over 16,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.  The loss of meeting space has resulted in Jefferson City losing conference/convention bookings.

Q: Do people still travel for conferences since COVID?

A:  Absolutely. Despite ending 2022 still 29% below 2019 levels, transient and group business travel made considerable progress in 2023. An observed trend is business travel is slowly, but steadily, recovering from the global pandemic (U.S. Travel Association). Jefferson City has experienced this lodging trend from 2022-2023 with increases in occupancy (+2.2%), average daily rate (+4.9%) and revenue per available room (+7.2%).

Q: What other events will the hotel and conference center accommodate?

A:  The proposed conference center will be a flexible facility able to accommodate meetings, banquets, tradeshows, live entertainment, fundraisers, weddings/receptions, and other community events.  In addition, the hotel will accommodate transient business travelers and the growing demand for sports tourism.  

In 2023, sports tourism in our city generated more than $9M in economic impact. These events take place at various facilities across Jefferson City such as those owned by JC Parks, Lincoln University, Jefferson City School District, Helias Catholic High School, and Special Olympics.