City leaders consider reinstating fee waivers for JW Marriott

City leaders consider reinstating fee waivers for JW Marriott developer

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  • City halts fee waivers to developer of JW Marriot

    City halts fee waivers to developer of JW Marriot

    Friday, June 21 2013 4:46 PM EDT2013-06-21 20:46:20 GMT
    When it's finished in 2015, the JW Marriott being built on Congress between 2nd and 3rd streets will have more than 1,000 guestrooms, making it the largest hotel in Austin.
    When it's finished in 2015, the JW Marriott being built on Congress between 2nd and 3rd streets will have more than 1,000 guestrooms, making it the largest hotel in Austin.  

City leaders will consider once again waiving fees for the developer of the JW Marriott going up on Congress.

In 2011, the city agreed to waive $3.8 million in development fees if White Lodging paid construction workers a certain amount. But, last week, the city notified White Lodging those fee waivers would end due to allegations that the developer was not paying construction workers enough.

Now, the city manager wants City Council members to discuss options for moving forward with the fee waivers. The Workers Defense Project says White Lodging broke their agreement and doesn't deserve any fee waivers.

"This project is one of the largest in the city. It's the largest JW Marriott hotel in our country and that's why it's so important that our city leaders show that development can be responsible and sustainable, not just for the environment, but for the workforce," Greg Casar of the Workers Defense Project said.

In a memo to the mayor and City Council, City Manager Marc Ott says there's been a misinterpretation of the city's prevailing wage policy. He's requested that the issue be placed on next week's council agenda.

Note: This article was changed to reflect the fact that the developer received fee waivers and not tax breaks.

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