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One step closer.

With a proposal to franchise a hotel in downtown Mason City now on record, local government is one step closer to having the crucial piece of the long-running River City Renaissance in place. 

According to City Administrator Aaron Burnett, the hotel flag has been identified as a Hyatt Place and the proposal is in the formal approval process by the multinational hospitality company. 

Per a letter to Mayor Bill Schickel from Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Director of Development Christina Wells, formal approval is subject to their internal reviews and "approval process of the franchise application and fee that was submitted by Gatehouse Capital."

Gatehouse's application and fee is part of a presentation that will be delivered before the Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday. The IEDA's board approved more than $9 million in state money for the city to create the reinvestment district that will host the developing hotel and conference center while requiring the city to provide weekly updates to staff until construction started.

In that same letter to Schickel, Wells said that the location and group were determined to be "suitable" after a preliminary tour, review of the market and visit with the development team.

Were the proposal to be finalized, it would be between Mason City, Gatehouse Capital LLC, and Hyatt Place Franchising LLC. 

In the deal with Gatehouse, the hotel would have a minimum of 95 rooms and the city would receive 4% of sales taxes from the hotel and the 5% state hotel excise tax, which will go to the city's Downtown Reinvestment District for its 20-year lifespan. Total project costs are still listed at $24 million and Gatehouse will fund approximately $17 million through a mix of various financing sources including investors and bank debt.

More information will be provided during the update at tonight's city council meeting so make sure to check back in to the Globe Gazette website.

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

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