City of Laredo

Special City Council Meeting


City Council Chambers

1110 Houston Street

Laredo, Texas  78040

January 12, 2006

5:30 p.m.



I.          CALL TO ORDER


            With a quorum present, Mayor Elizabeth G.  Flores called the meeting to order.




            The Mayor led in the Pledge of Allegiance.




            In attendance:


            Elizabeth G.  Flores,                                                     Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                                        Council Member, District I

            Hector Garcia,                                                              Council Member, District II

            Johnny Amaya,                                                             Council Member, District IV

            Johnny Rendon                                                             Council Member, District V

            Gene Belmares,                                                            Council Member, District VI

            Jose A.  Valdez, Jr.,                                                     Mayor Pro Tem, District VII

            Juan Ramirez,                                                               Council Member, District VIII

            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.,                                                   City Secretary

            Larry Dovalina,                                                             City Manager

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                           Deputy City Manager

            Horacio De Leon,                                                         Assistant City Manager

            Rafael Garcia,                                                               Assistant City Manager

            Anthony McGettrick,                                                    Assistant City Attorney


            Motion to excuse Cm.  Galo.


            Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

            Second:  Cm.  Amaya

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0




Status report on the El Portal project from City staff and Mr. Bruce Cole, representing El Portal Center Development.


Larry Dovalina, City Manager, said that the City has taken the committee members of the Downtown Development Committee into the facility that is being constructing to show them the progress that is being made as part of the facility.  He invited the rest of the Council to physically visit the site to see the progress that has been made.  He said that the construction is 45% complete and a person can begin to appreciate the beauty of the area.


Bruce Cole of El Portal Center, LLC., advised that he gave a presentation representing El Portal Center Development in May 15, 200.  He said that he had discussed their plan regarding a national trade center, hotel, and convention center and he outlined the entire proposal.    He said that the essence of the proposal was that the City was going to have to acquire property that he was not able to acquire.  He added that the City would construct a parking lot and they would build a convention center, trade center, and a hotel.  Once the construction was complete they would transfer ownership of the convention center to the City.  He illustrated the plans as the Council listened.  He asked the City of Laredo is willing to make a commitment.  He said that he is ready to proceed. 


City of Laredo – Downtown Renaissance

El Portal Center, LLC Development Agreement


                 Summary of Proposed Terms


                 Development Components


                 The Laredo Outlet Stores

                 Convention Center

                 International Trade Center


                 Parking Structure

                 Transportation Plaza


                 El Portal Center, LLC


                 Constructs 70,000 – 100,000 square foot Convention Center and gives to City for $1.00

                 Contracts with the City to operate Convention Center

                 Constructs 150,000 leasable square foot International Trade Center

                 Constructs 175 – 225 room hotel

                 Spends $30 Million to renovate the existing mall into Class A Outlet Center




                 Exclusive provider of Food and Beverage concession for Convention Center

                 Use of banquet and meeting rooms at a predetermined rate

                 Use of 200 parking spaces



·        Acquires property required for development of convention center, trade center,

       hotel and parking garage

·         Constructs and owns parking structure for 1,000 cars under Hotel, Convention   

       Center, Trade Center, and connects to Outlet Center

·        Contributes air rights to El Portal above garage for Convention Center, Hotel and

       International Trade Center

·        Provides bridge between City Transportation Plaza at Salinas Bridge Retail



Post Construction Responsibility & Obligations


International Trade Center


Right to use banquet and meeting rooms

Use of 300 parking spaces


Convention Center


Include banquet and meeting room space

Right to use of banquet and meeting rooms


Outlet Center


Use of parking spaces at no cost for 5 hours with validation with standard rates thereafter


Benefits to the City of Laredo


o       Continue Downtown revitalization created by City of Laredo Bridge of Americas project

o       Beautifies waterfront and provides spectacular views from all directions

o       Unifies Bridge of the Americas and other commercial developments

o       Generates significant economic development for the City of Laredo Entertainment Center


Job Creation                      Employees      Property Tax  Hotel Tax       Parking

Trade Center                       300                  $730,380        

Hotel                                   125                  $705,000         $613,000

Convention Center               30                                            $280,000

Parking Garage                    10                                                                    $1,230,000

Totals                                  465                  $1,435,380      $893,000         $1,230,000


Total Taxes             $3,558,380

Total Revenue         $3,558,380


Economic Summary


Trade Center                       150,000                       $20,900,000

Hotel                                                                         25,000,000

Convention Center   *          85,000                           10,000,000

Parking Garage*                  N/A                                 7,000,000

Total Project Cost                                                   $62,900,000


* To be owned by the City


The rest of the minutes will be completed on Monday, March 6, 2006.



The City Council hereby reserves the right to go into executive session at any time during this public meeting, if such is requested by the City Attorney or other legal counsel for the City, pursuant to his or her duty under Section 551.071 (2) of the Government Code, to consult privately with his or her client on an item on the agenda, or on a matter arising out of such item.


            Motion to go into Executive Session.




            For:                                                      Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0


            After Executive Session, Mayor Flores announced that no formal action was taken.




            Motion to adjourn.                                                                                Time:  ______ p.m.




            For:                                                      Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0