City, chamber look to work with state on property for conference center

The former Missouri State Penitentiary property is one of two sites proposed for a convention center in Jefferson City.

The former Missouri State Penitentiary property is one of two sites proposed for a convention center in Jefferson City.

As the city prepares to look deeper into two possible sites for a proposed conference center, both sites share a common challenge: the state owns at least portions of both parcels.

Last week, the Jefferson City Council heard proposals on the site on the 200 block of West McCarty — now being referred to as the Broadway site — and the Missouri State Penitentiary.

After presentations and discussions, Mayor Eric Struemph said he would direct his staff to begin the request for proposals process, which would provide marketing and design plans for each site. Struemph has said there is no estimate on how long that process may take or when the council would be able to make a site-selection decision.

But both sites, especially the MSP, contain property owned by the state. And though discussions are ongoing to acquire the needed property, the state has not made any promises or entered into any agreements.

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