Brunswick abandons longtime plan for convention center

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Officials in a coastal Georgia city are abandoning a decades-long plan to build a convention center and hotel, seeking to use money set aside for the project to reduce property taxes.

Brunswick city commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution declaring the proposed Oglethorpe Conference Center “infeasible.”

The Brunswick News reports that the Glynn County Commission must now approve a resolution allowing sales tax funds dedicated to the convention center to be repurposed.

Voters would then have to approve a resolution to use the money for something else.

The city would get $1.2 million and the county would get $1.3 million to reduce property taxes.

The convention center was proposed as early as 2001. However, city attorney Brian Corry said the COVID-19 pandemic ended any realistic chance to develop the downtown block as planned.

If the city built the conference center and hotel, Corry said it would not generate any revenue in the current economy.

The county was willing to donate the property to the city if a conference center was built. Mayor Cornell Harvey said now it’s likely the city will offer to buy the property.

“The city would own it outright at that point to develop it as it sees fit,” Corry said.