Lease agreement on hotel modified
BEEBE -- Arkansas State University has modified its agreement with Jonesboro Hotel Partners LLC, a group that is building a hotel and convention center on the campus.
Under the original 50-year ground lease agreement, the group was to begin paying rent on the property this year. Construction for the hotel and convention center is underway, but the start date has been delayed. Both parties are anticipating it to open Aug. 1, 2019.
The university is not letting Jonesboro Hotel Partners off the hook, though.
The modified ground lease agreement -- approved by the university's board of trustees, with one abstention, Friday -- will allow the company to defer those rent payments to April 1, 2021. Half of the deferred amount, totaling $333,333, will be due to the university by July 23, 2023, while the other half will be due the next July 31.
Those payments will be due along with the annual rental payments laid out in the original ground lease.
The amendment also lays out the timeline of payments to the university should the hotel and convention center open before or after the anticipated Aug. 1, 2019 date. It also arranges a plan if the deferred payments are not made by certain due dates.
On Friday, three trustees approved the amended ground lease. Trustee Christy Clark abstained from the vote, as Jonesboro Hotel Partners selected her husband's firm, Clark Contractors of Little Rock, for the project before her appointment to the ASU board. Trustee Niel Crowson was absent.
Ex-board member Rhodes is honored
BEEBE -- Former university board member Ron Rhodes received a new title on Friday: trustee emeritus.
The Cherokee Village native served his last meeting in December 2017, closing out two five-year terms. Rhodes was originally appointed to the board by former Gov. Mike Beebe in 2008 and was reappointed in 2013.
On Friday, Rhodes was honored with his nameplate, a gavel engraved with the years or his service and his official board portrait. Rhodes was the last remaining trustee on the board when it hired Chuck Welch as system president in 2009, Welch said.
Welch and board members thanked him and his wife, Brenda, on Friday for their service.
Metro on 03/03/2018