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Mason City officials scrambling to salvage downtown “Renaissance Project”


This news story was published on October 14, 2016.
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Mason City's Younkers store, at Southbridge Mall

Mason City’s Younkers store, at Southbridge Mall

MASON CITY – According to information coming to NIT, Mason City’s downtown development involving a hotel, parking ramp, pavilion, mixed-use building and ice arena (so-called downtown “Renaissance”) is changing dramatically.

So far, city hall will not release any information about the changes that are apparently developing with this project – all they will say is they have a “contingency plan” in place if (when?) San Diego developer Philip Chodur (who is suing city of La Vista, CA for a failed development) does not come through with financing to build his hotel next to city hall.

According to our sources, Philip Chodur will not come through with financing for the Hotel that was first promised back in 2013. (A phone call to G8 Development today (619-354-8736) was met with a voice recording for a woman named Angela Hodgdon. A second call was answered by Hogdon, and several questions for Mr. Chodur were left as a message, which she wrote down and promised to give him.) He has a deadline of October 31 here in MC to break ground. The state has not come through with $10 million the city asked for. The mall has been sold to an out-of-state owner with a questionable history. NIT is told that now, a new developer has been brought in to city hall behind the scenes and is in discussions to build a hotel in connection to the Younker’s store in the mall. The parking ramp would be built where the former Bank of America building now stands. City hall, our sources say, is desperate for this project – as a whole – to go ahead. NIT is attempting to make sure the citizens and taxpayers of Mason City are kept in the loop here, as they deserve to be.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE FROM CITY HALL:

“Sale of Southbridge Mall was announced on September 26. The mall was purchased by Kohan Retail Investment Group from New York state. Mr. Trout has sent the draft lease agreements to Kohan so that negotiations can begin with the new owners. The sale of the mall was a major issue to be resolved prior to final approval of our Reinvestment District application.”

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California court records: Things went sour between Mr. Chodur and the city of Vista, California, when their deal fell apart. Let's hope Mason City is not next if his hotel deal with the city goes bad. Mr. Chodur's (G8 Development) "Breach of Contract" case with Vista, CA has been in court over 400 days now. Civil Jury Trial set for April 21, 2017. Sometimes, city governments settle for big dollars.

California court records:
Things went sour between Mr. Chodur and the city of Vista, California, when their deal fell apart. Let’s hope Mason City is not next if his hotel deal with the city goes bad. Mr. Chodur’s (G8 Development) “Breach of Contract” case with Vista, CA has been in court over 400 days now. Civil Jury Trial set for April 21, 2017. Sometimes, city governments settle for big dollars.

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28 Responses to Mason City officials scrambling to salvage downtown “Renaissance Project”

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 23, 2016 at 5:33 am

    just remember all this when election time comes for mayor and council. talk big now and talk big then

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Why do people say,; the mall should have never been built. That may be, but it was built and theres no going back in time.

  3. Josh Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Philip chodur owns the small lot next to my dads on 4th and mass. here in town. The grass is mowed once every few months, and the snow was not removed once last year. It ended in my dad receiving a ticket for not removing the snow on the sidewalk. I removed the snow myself, and had to start taking video after doing so, due to city hall refusing to admit the stretch of sidewalk wasnt my fathers. $90 each time is the charge the city hands out for the stretch that wasnt done. If he is unable to pay for appropriate yard care, he needs to sell me the property, or find someone willing to take care of it cheaper. Very displeased with this mans lack of responsibility, just because he lives out of state.

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      October 15, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Lives out of state – and quite possibly the mayor is protecting him. I saw Bookmeyer and Chodur driving around in Alex Kuhn’s BMW this spring/summer. They were all hanging out.

    • Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

      October 15, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Is Philip Chodur originally from Mason City?

  4. A. Linclon Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Bookmeyer is driving this bus and like other projects he backed, this one is headed straight for the ditch.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      October 15, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      A 7-year mayor with nothing to show for it but tearing the town apart. Nothing but more weeds and crooks roaming the streets. Presides over a clown show twice a month. Thanks, Erich.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Another bogus project by our worthless mayor and his croney’s. Chodur ran around town buying up vacant property on contract that he will never honor now. Ask them about it.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 6:43 am

    A rumor is floating around that the Mall was leased to the Obama/Clinton mafia corporation and will be used to house 500 syrian/muslim refugees. Wow! Finally Masonic city will have a population increase. This was a finalized after the porky plant fell thru – cause U know who don’t like porky.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 6:27 am

    The mall destroyed our down town businesses and everything moved to the strip west of town – This was all planned by large democratic owned corporations well in advance – This new project is a scam that will burden the taxpayers/destroy the downtown even more – just a multi million dollar boondogel to enrich the contractors who have already promised a 10% kickback to the group that gets it passed. $$$$$$$$

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Planned by democrats? Yeah, right….MacNider is the one making the money out west and I don’t think he has ever been anything but a conservative republican.

  8. mint Reply Report comment

    October 15, 2016 at 5:42 am

    The mall should have never been built, the old downtown stores had quality and unique goods, the mall has zero individual personality, same mass cookie cutter junk production stores owned by the big corporations/sorcerers.

  9. IowaBoy Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    If there are changes to this project, they MUST present them IN FULL to the public. I also think any venture of the cost and magnitude should go to a public vote/referendum. Perhaps scrape it, cost our losses and bring the public in to discuss other options and ideas.

  10. watching Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    If the plan has changed drastically then hopefully the mayor and council will be forthcoming with information and not try to rush it thru. Didn’t seem to sit well with the citizens last time they tried that and the people rose up to have their opinions and feeling heard.

  11. connected Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Naysayer Marquart at it again. Get a life your site sucks and you suck. Read your mail to find out what in store for you assclown.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 14, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Matt-Now you have a IP Address to go with the threats you have been getting.

  12. Down to DM Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Holy sh*t I’m glad I moved out of Mason when I did, you people are fracked!

  13. Dixie Wrecked Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    What is the hotel for, all of the pig processing conventions that were to be held in town? And what is a “parking ramp?” Seems like money for construction companies to me.

    • connected Reply Report comment

      October 14, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      People like you wrecked our big chance I suppose you joined PETA and never ate a pork chop? No I know you do everday so just shut up your opinoin dont matter. We’ll get the next plant wait and see.

  14. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    What a waste of time and money. I said right from the start that the whole thing was a farce. It is disintegrating right before their eyes. Kill the project and put the money into other parts of town other than the west side.

  15. Sad but true Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    why do we throw good money after bad? How many dollars have the taxpayer lost downtown already?
    What downtown or Mason City attraction would draw people to fill these motels?
    I would lie to see current occupancy of the FLW?

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      October 14, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      From my vantage point, Bookmeyer is hell-bent on this deal going all the way through no matter what. His lackey, Travis Hickey, told a group of us that the mall will fill up with stores and restaurants once the arena is built. The arena is the “attraction” in their eyes.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        October 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        What a bunch of Bull. Hockey has just a very small percentage of the population (mostly parents) who support it. The rest of us don’t. It is not a draw anymore than the current rink is.

  16. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    This project has been a clusterfu*k from the beginning.
    You can pretty much bet that this whole thing is going down the tubes and fast.

    When you have two major sketchy players like Chodur & Bookmeyer in the mix, the proverbial shit is going to hit the fan.
    They are both blowhard liars and just the opposite of the “the Midas touch”, with these two ass-clowns everything that they touch turns to shit.
    Bookmeyer is the worst POS to ever sit in the MC mayors chair.

  17. Allen Reply Report comment

    October 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    This doesn’t sound good. I think that somebody has bit off more then they can chew. Delusions of Grandeur for sure.