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Latest Mason City hotel developments aim to meet state requirements
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Latest Mason City hotel developments aim to meet state requirements


During Tuesday night's city council meeting, David Rachie, a representative for the developer putting a hotel in downtown Mason City, announced to the members that a chain for the project had been finalized.

Gatehouse Capital would bring a Hyatt Place. 

Designs would come in by December. There would now be 111 rooms instead of the more conservative projection of 95.

Financing would tentatively be locked in for February 2020.  

Ideally, the construction timeline would be 18-20 months after a late-May, early-June 2020 groundbreaking. 

What the state has to say

But those timelines don't just exist in a vacuum. They're not isolated. They're set and carefully interwoven with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) contingencies tied to $9.12 million being given to Mason City for its Downtown Reinvestment Plan that's taken shape as the River City Renaissance project. When Mason City officials met with the IEDA in mid-October, they met to amend timeline contingencies. 

IEDA October Agreement
October IEDA Agreement 2

At a prior meeting from May of this year, Mason City officials were able to set a new deadline of Sept. 30, 2019, for the construction financing commitment. Now, they have until February 28, 2020, to submit to the IEDA a commitment letter that acceptable construction financing has been secured for the Downtown Hotel. During Tuesday's meeting, Rachie said he already had a meeting while in town that was related to financing, but that the plan would be to "go out to markets the second week in February."

If it comes to pass that another amended plan needs to be done, that would need to happen by December 31, 2019. 

What the deal says

When the Mason City Council approved the development agreement with Gatehouse Capital in July, the deal itself included timelines for completion. 

Per the deal, construction on the hotel property would have to begin on or before July 1, 2020. 

Improvements would need to be done, at the absolute latest, by December 1, 2023.

At the time both sides were smoothing out the deal, City Administrator Aaron Burnett said that those dates are very long intentionally and that the actual dates will be quicker.

"An ambitious goal is to start construction before winter and completion within 18 months following start of construction. The next few months will determine if we can get any construction started before winter."

Construction now will not begin until this coming spring.

For its part, the city is selling 2-3 acres of land near Southbridge Mall, giving Gatehouse an $8.7 million hotel grant, bonding no more than $16.125 million for improvements to the proposed skywalk connecting the hotel to Music Man Square and awarding a rebate of 50% of any local hotel motel taxes to Gatehouse once the hotel opens.

While Mason City is looking to complete its downtown hotel, Clear Lake is working on a hotel project of its own that they expect to have completed sometime in 2020.

According to Rachie, that project shouldn't pose much of a problem.

"I don't think it will impact the operations of our hotel."

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Reach Reporter Jared McNett at 641-421-0527. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @TwoHeadedBoy98. 


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