Keller group gives back money, won't ask for more until completion, letter says

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Northern Arkansas Hotels & Convention Center, LLC, represented by Christopher Keller, will not ask for any more money from the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion commission until the convention center project is complete.

That is according to a letter hand delivered to the City of Jonesboro Finance Office on Friday, May 19, from Chris Keller, himself.

The letter addresses recent requirements by the A&P Commission put on the company, due to the organization falling behind on planned construction of a hotel and convention center in Jonesboro. Addressing each requirement, Keller wrote in the two-page memo a numbered list to outline his satisfying of the requests.

A letter from a bank/investor was attached, from Carl Kaeding, owner of Kaeding Management Group, LLC, supporting the project’s funding to, according to Keller, satisfy existing obligations to the contractors and subcontractors who have already performed their work as well as “shore up the traditional financing required to complete this project.”

Keller wrote an irrevocable letter of credit would not be necessary due to them returning over $71,000 of the initial $75,000 installment. He said the amount spent was in Arkansas Business to promote future meetings and conferences. In addition, the second section of Keller’s letter says he will not request any future installments of A&P money until such time the project is complete.

“Even at that time, we will only be requesting the installments as agreed, and will never have $300,000 of A&P funds at any one time,” Keller wrote.

The project is on track financially, Keller wrote, saying their architect told the company they should expect final plans available for submittal in approximately 60 days.

“Based upon conversations with our architect, general contractor and lender, we anticipate that it is reasonable to project we will be ‘coming out of the ground’ within 120 days,” Keller wrote.

The letter also said an agreement had been reached with the contractor and subcontractors to satisfy the release of liens and for work to continue on the site when the job restarts. The letter said legal counsel is working between companies to facilitate the release of the liens and those releases will be provided to the city once filed.

The letter concludes by saying a franchise agreement between Northern Arkansas Hotels & Convention Center, LLC. and Hyatt, for the Hyatt Place Hotel in Jonesboro, has been signed – but won’t be shared.

“That document is proprietary and cannot be shared,” Keller wrote. “This agreement is in place and in full effect. This should be a non-issue, especially since we have no plans to ask for the reinstatement of our initial installment from you until such time that the project is built and the Hyatt Place sign is illuminating I555.”

Read the letter here:

Keller Letter

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