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Framing begins at Clear Lake hotel, event center site
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Framing begins at Clear Lake hotel, event center site

Marriott update

Concrete pillars and wood framing can be seen at the construction site of the hotel project underway just off of Highway 122 in Clear Lake.

Clear Lake’s multimillion-dollar Marriott hotel and event center project is taking shape.

Semi-loads of lumber arrived earlier this week and work started on the project’s frame and parking lot at its future site in Courtway Park east of Interstate 35.

“(There’s) quite a bit of activity happening out there the last couple of days, so that’s good to see that happening,” said Scott Flory, Clear Lake city administrator.

Excavation, underground utilities and footings as well as the concrete elevator shaft and stairwells were completed this summer.

The hotel — the city’s first in at least 20 years — was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony in late June after the Clear Lake City Council approved a development agreement with JSM Investment LLC, of Johnston.

The project features an 85-room Marriott-brand hotel and an attached conference center and event space that accommodates about 450 people.

The building will be positioned on the southern four acres of Lot 4 in the Courtway Park subdivision with one entrance from Bayou Road.

Kalpesh Patel, CEO at VKB Management LLC, of West Des Moines, and Ryan Huegerick, CEO at HCI Hotel Supply, of Omaha, Nebraska, are the development team behind the Marriott hotel and event center project in Clear Lake.

‘A dream becomes a reality’: Developer breaks ground on Clear Lake hotel, event center

As part of the development agreement, the city plans to offer a forgivable loan to JSM Investment not to exceed $1.2 million funded by incremental property tax revenues, a 10-year incremental property tax rebate agreement not to exceed $1.5 million with payments subject to annual appropriation by the council, and an additional $300,000 in construction incentives from incremental property taxes.

Clear Lake has agreed to pay the developer $150,000 if construction of the project, including at a minimum the excavation of utilities or footings, began before June 30. Another $150,000 will be paid to the developer if the hotel is operational by June 30, 2021.

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The city has also agreed to reimburse JSM Investment up to $50,000 to cover a portion of the franchise application fee to Marriott International, which was reviewed — and approved — in early April.

Marriott rendering

A rendering of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel and event center that broke ground in June. The project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2021. 

Flory provided the City Council a brief update on the hotel project Monday evening after it unanimously approved a competitive quote for upgraded street lighting in the subdivision to Hunt Electric, of Clear Lake.

“We’ve done work with Hunt quite a bit, so we’ve got a good working relationship with him,” he said.

The upgraded street lighting, including nine fixtures along Starboard Drive and Bayou Road, will cost about $54,896, which is about 8.5% less than the engineer’s estimate.

Flory said the developer agreed to pay $10,000 for Alliant Energy’s standard light fixtures, so that amount will go toward the upgraded light fixtures.

The fixtures are anticipated to be installed by the end of December.

The asphalt surfacing of the parking lot likely won’t occur until spring, Flory said, noting things could change.

The Fairfield by Marriott hotel in Clear Lake will be among nearly 20 in Iowa, and it’s the only one along Interstate 35 between Ames and Burnsville, Minnesota, which Flory said speaks volumes about the developer’s — and Marriott’s — confidence in the community.

A video at the construction site of the new Marriott Hotel at the Courtway Park subdivision in Clear Lake in August. 

The Courtway Park subdivision comprises 11 lots — six highway commercial and five light industrial — and two roadways and curb and gutter on nearly 64 acres east of Interstate 35 and north of Highway 122.

Ashley Stewart covers Clear Lake and arts and entertainment in North Iowa for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her at or by phone at 641-421-0533. Follow Ashley on Twitter at GGastewart.


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