Southbridge Tax Sale

Southbridge Mall in Mason City. 

If the ballot items do pass, how much money will the IEDA award to Mason City?

Currently, preliminary figures state around $7.1 million, but up to $10 million could be awarded. How much the state awards could affect figures for the rest of the project.

Will the multipurpose center eventually be able to be used year-round for concerts and other events?

City officials say currently, no. But that could change if the Youth Hockey Club is willing to allow for such events, and the city/others are interested in installing removable flooring or something similar.

If there is a tax sale for the mall due to Mike Kohen not paying his taxes, what happens then?

It’s unclear how that would exactly impact the process, or what litigation process would ensue.

How will the G8 lawsuit impact the process moving forward?

Philip Chodur of G8, a San Diego developer who first looked to build the downtown hotel, is suing the city and chamber of commerce for a breach of contract. A jury trial is set for next year.

Who will be city administrator during this process?

Brent Trout left to be city manager in Topeka, Kansas in late October. Kevin Jacobson, director of finance, is currently the interim city manager, but whoever replaces Trout will play a key role in the execution of the project if it moves forward.

What will the economic impact of the project be?

Although many aspects of the project should bring jobs and more revenue to Mason City, it’s unclear what the exact impact will be.

What happens if the citizens fail to approve the ballot items?

City officials say it’s all-or-nothing, meaning certain aspects of the project cannot be saved. If it fails, it’s unclear what type of future opportunities the city will pursue.

If voters with at least 60 percent approval pass the measures, is the project certain?

Probably but not certainly. The Council will hold a public hearing later in November to finalize the development agreement with Gatehouse, leaving a small window for changes to the project or even the developer.

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