UPDATE: Makenda, LLC plans to invest nearly $10 million into Waterloo’s downtown area. City leaders says this investment would increase the property value by $7.1 million. Comments from the public at Waterloo’s City Council made push-back on the tax breaks Makenda will receive.
“It does not help the taxpayers. You folks are supposed to be helping the taxpayers of Waterloo, not the businesses or public employees. You’re supposed to be working for the citizens of Waterloo.”
The council also brought up questions on how the protected the city is if the project doesn’t happen. Chief Financial Officer Michelle Weidner says they’ve received a bank reference letter for the project, but not a formal commitment on loans for the funds.
“If they don’t renovate the hotel and they don’t create a hotel that meets the requirements we’ve discussed, we won’t pay those incentives,” says Weidner. “It would only be the grant, the grant is required to be repaid if they don’t get the hotel renovated completely.”
The other half of the timeline for the renovation if the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. The center would compliment the new hotel renovations.
“We are talking about a new look and an entirely new feel to the convention center and making sure that we are parallel with some of the changes that have been outside of the hotel,” says Mayor Quentin Hart.
Weidner went on to say there has been no money exchanged between the city and Makenda. The hotel currently sits in a Tiff District for the city, after tax incentives, Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson, says the hotel will create up to $40,000 a year for improvements to Waterloo.
The next topic of discussion is for the Five Sullivan Brother’s Convention Center. At the press conference, Monday 14, 2019 the topic of new management was touched upon, but that decision will come to fruition in the future.
UPDATE: The grants and tax incentives were approved Tuesday evening by the Waterloo City Council.
A formal agreement with the company hasn’t been finalized. Once all terms are agreed upon, Rod Lindquist, a developer with Makenda, LLC, told KWWL they plan to start renovations in November and hope to have the Best Western Plus ready to open for business in August 2020.
UPDATE: There will be a news conference today at 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Ramada Inn Hotel in Waterloo.
Mayor Quentin Hart will announce a development agreement for the remodeling of the hotel.
WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) — Tonight, the Waterloo City Council will consider giving grants and tax incentives to a South Dakota company that is planning on buying and remodeling the downtown Ramada Hotel.
According to the Waterloo City Council agenda, the company is planning on investing $8.5 million into the hotel.
The hotel would be renovated as a Best Western Plus hotel, according to a development agreement pending Waterloo City Council approval.