Here we are.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority set Friday as the deadline for Mason City and all of the players in the River City Renaissance Project to check a series of to-do boxes. At stake is $9.1 million in state funding toward the $39 million plan.
We've been consistently supportive of the plan, and those words that appeared on this page years and months ago still hold true:
"The need is there; the rewards very promising — the continued renaissance of our downtown with a project that will change the face of our community forever, providing great recreational, cultural and related opportunities that we could only dream about not so many years ago."
Almost five years ago to the day, Philip Chodur first publicly shared his plans to build in downtown Mason City. Since then, his vision has been scrapped, shifted, reworked and revived. Despite the detail-tinkering, Mason City deserves this opportunity.
"It will change the face of Mason City, taking redevelopment beyond what anyone might have believed possible not so many months ago. It is enormously important to Mason City, and we remain as excited about it as the day it was announced."
The project, according to the latest version, will add a hotel, conference center, ice arena, pavilion and skywalk, and renovate The Music Man Square. There are too many good businesses and employees in Mason City's core to let this opportunity pass.
"Not only would the mall see increased business, but it’s logical that restaurants and merchants throughout downtown would see a boost in customers – with new businesses perhaps even springing up because of that increased traffic."
The long process hopefully turns a key corner Friday.
The patience and work by local, state and private officials on this deal shouldn't go unnoticed. Friday's outcome is five years in the making. The process has been thorough and all of the right questions have been posed.
We're eager to hear those final answers Friday and to see construction starting in the coming months.
The Globe Gazette Editorial Board consists of Publisher Roy Biondi, Editor David Mayberry and News Editor Ashley Miller. Reach them at email@example.com.