Round Rock approves first $21.3M bond sale for Kalahari convention center

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ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock approved the sale of its first multi-million dollar bonds to help build a new convention center near a resort and water park.

Both the city council and the Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Corporation approved the sale of $21.3 million sales tax revenue bonds. They will go toward the costs of designing and building a 200,000 square foot convention center right next to the proposed Kalahari Resort hotel at 3001 Kalahari Boulevard off East Palm Valley Road. Round Rock says the center will include “what is expected to be the largest ballroom, the Kilimanjaro Ballroom, in Central Texas.”

In April 2020, Round Rock plans to issue another sales tax revenue bond, for a total of $40 million between the two.

Some state and city tax revenue generated from the project will help repay the bonds, according to a release from the city. While the city will own the convention center initially, Kalahari will pay for all operations and maintenance. According to Kalahari, “When the debt associated with the issuance of the bonds is retired, the City will convey the convention center to Kalahari at no cost.”

“The convention center will provide a large-scale meeting and exhibition space currently unavailable and represents a valuable new industry for Round Rock that improves our economic diversity,” Round Rock said in a statement. Kalahari says it expects the resort will attract up to 1 million visitors each year.

Kalahari Resort broke ground in May 2018. The new convention center is expected to open in late 2020, Round Rock says.

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