On Monday, Casper City Council narrowly approved the purchase of a $650,000 lot in Casper’s downtown area that the city hopes will facilitate the development of a sprawling $50 million hotel and conference center.

In a proposal made last week, the city will build a $12 million conference center on the property, but only if it can lure a hotel operator into the deal to build a 200-room, $30 million hotel next door.

Casper mayor Kenyne Schlager, who voted in favor of the purchase, says the former property owner will have a pair of opportunities to repurchase the land at a discount if it feels sufficient progress hasn’t been made toward development.

“The first opportunity comes December of 2013,” Schlager said. “But, the next opportunity is in 2016, and, should we have not met some of the goals they were hoping we would have made at that point, then they’ll pay less than what we purchased it for.”

The property owner, Arlene LLC, will first be able to buy back the land in December of this year for $635,000. It will have the option to buy the property again in 2016 for $535,000.

City managers believe construction on the conference center can be completed by 2017.