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Ground broken today in Clear Lake for new Marriott hotel and conference center


This news story was published on June 29, 2020.
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Location for hotel and convention center in Clear Lake. Land between 32nd Street, I-35, and north of Highway 122.  The area has undergone major preparations over previous months to reach groundbreaking status.

CLEAR LAKE – Ground was broken today in Clear Lake for a new Marriott hotel and conference center on the east edge of town.

Mayor Nelson Crabb and City Administrator Scott Flory attended the ground breaking Monday morning for the new 85 room Marriott hotel and conference center. Mr. Flory said the hotel and conference center development will be located in the Courtway Park Subdivision. The developer is JSM Investments and the project represents roughly $13 million capital investment in travel and tourism industry in Clear Lake.

Chad Schreck, President and CEO of North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp., expects the development will have “a catalytic impact” on this region.

“When we were going through the process of setting goals for Vision North Iowa, it was a common theme among participants: to improve entryways into both Mason City and Clear Lake. It’s exciting to see how much has been done on that already,” said Schreck.

Th North Iowa Corridor describes the new development:

Located at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Highway 122, where thousands of motorists enter Clear Lake, the site was the location of Andrews Prestressed Concrete for many years. After the plant closed, the industrial structures stood vacant a long time. “We had the fear that it would be like that forever, that no one wanted to buy it and clean up the property,” he said. Then Lorri and Todd Hall of Sheffield purchased the 64-acre site.

“A lot of credit goes to the Halls,” Schreck said. “We worked with city
administrators identifying it as a priority. When Halls got control of the property, we went to work on removal and worked with City of Clear Lake to get streets improved. It’s been a great move by Clear Lake City Council and staff to make it more attractive to developers.”

Old Dominion Freight Line plans to build a service center on a north section of the property. Then on October 21, 2019, Clear Lake City Council approved a development agreement with WillowStream LLC to build a hotel, conference center, and restaurant on about 6 acres at the site.

“There’s a multiplier benefit,” Schreck said. “We’re removing an eyesore. The improved look and feel, to have that for a community, is huge. It’s opened the door for the next developments, to attract more people into the community and region.”

Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory said, “The City is looking forward to assisting with facilitating economic development opportunities in the Courtway Park Subdivision. The development of N. 32nd Street was a critical step forward by the City in promoting the development of the subdivision itself. The development of adequate infrastructure is critical in ensuring that new development opportunities can be capitalized upon.”

The proposed hotel, restaurant, and conference/event/meeting center is an important project for the community, according to Flory. He added, “A new lodging
establishment has not been built in Clear Lake since the late 1990s and
Clear Lake currently lacks significant meeting center space and facilities
adequate to host events and conferences at a higher level.”

Flory said the City of Clear Lake is optimistic for a fall 2019 groundbreaking on that potential project.

Schreck said North Iowa Corridor and both communities are working together to make the proposed development complementary to the latest Mason City downtown projects and the Surf Ballroom.

“It’s an exciting opportunity, with the access from the interstate and with the regional impact it can have,” he said. “Developers don’t put their money anywhere they aren’t going to see a return. This will be good for us all.”

Hyatt Place hotel, Meredith Wilson Museum and skywalk rendering

Meanwhile, farther east in Mason City, officials struggle to break ground on a hotel and convention center in the downtown, which includes a skywalk to Music Man Square.  Gatehouse is the developer.  No ground has been broken on the project, but plans are allegedly in place to proceed at an unknown date.  The hotel, being planned for years, is the nexus of a state program the City touted that would route up to $10 million in collected state taxes within new developments inside a downtown reinvestment district back to the City to offset millions of dollars in bonds the City is selling to pay for downtown redevelopment.  Read more about the project, here.

The City has been mired in a lawsuit brought by Philip Chodur’s G8 Development, the previous chosen developer for the hotel project.  G8 sued when the City fired G8 and went back to Gatehouse as the chosen developer. Records show the case is bogged down in court with a pre-trial conference set for February 5, 2021 and a jury trial set for February 15, 2021.  The amount of damages G8 is seeking isn’t clear.

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20 Responses to Ground broken today in Clear Lake for new Marriott hotel and conference center

  1. Avatar

    Larrey Loeckle Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2020 at 7:32 am

    I wanted Mason City to be prosperous and successful. Don’t see that happening until “new money” comes to town. Living on tax-subsidized developments for decades has done nothing for the long term well being of Mason City. New money is only created by “growing, mining, or producing a product” for a profit. That equates to JOBS! First, the jobs, then new money to the community follows. Our focus for growth in Mason City has been bass ackwards for many decades. Oh well, I tried!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2020 at 8:10 am

      According to this logic, then no place in the US should be growing. We haven’t ‘grown, produced, or mined new products” anywhere in this country for 25 years. Yet many cities grow and have robust economies.

      Clearly your theory is bogus. Try again.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    This is really going to be a great thing for both Clear Lake and Mason City.
    Also there was reports sometime back that the restaurant was supposed to be a Jethro’s BBQ like the ones they have in the Des Moines area.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 30, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      The fact the original hotelier for this project has dropped out, I’d assume the Jethro’s is no longer a component of this project.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

    One of the problems in Mason City has always been civic leaders go shopping in Minneapolis, then come back and think Mason City should do things like the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. Problem is we are not Richfield or Edina.

    • Avatar

      Iveseenit Reply Report comment

      June 30, 2020 at 8:32 am

      This is very true. Minneapolis is where many of our city codes, ordinances, and regulations come from.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 30, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Please cite a specific example.

      • Avatar

        Smackey Reply Report comment

        July 1, 2020 at 7:23 am

        Examples are not illegal, therefore, no citations will be given.

  4. Avatar

    Ventura lady Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2020 at 1:40 am

    Congratulations Clear Lake!

    As for the comedy show over there in Mason, why not put that old man Max in charge, that would be a hit, haha!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 30, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Max hasn’t been in politics for several years, just what does he have to do with queer lake? oh maybe your not a lady, and have a fetish for him.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Good to see that Clear Lake is getting theirs built. You can’t beat being right next to I-35. As far as the proposed one for Mason City goes, it’s probably going to be even harder to put together a finance deal now.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Has the hotel brand changed since the original announcement? Or is there an error in this magnificent piece of ‘journalism’?

    Last I heard, this was a Grandstay brand hotel.

    • Avatar

      Eric's tiny crane Reply Report comment

      June 29, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      Hahahaha someone belch that out after 14 beers in commercial alley? It’ll be a super 8 next week then a days inn.

  7. Avatar

    John Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I wrote a reply to Skipper when he was cheer leading for Mason City and told him that Clear Lake would have their Hotel / Convention center going before Mason City and Mason City had a 7 year head start, I was right. The way the City of Mason City has bungled this thing for over 7 years now is not excusable.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 29, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      It’s a pipe dream, seen through smoke and mirrors.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Where is Mason City’s mis-managed hotel? It was in the works long before Clear Lake’s. Now Mason City’s is not needed and is a waste of taxpayer money.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      June 29, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Robin said $10 million collected goes back to City coffers… is she a lying snake oil salesman with very sharp claws? Impossible.

  9. Avatar

    Nick Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Build it and they will come. Casino shuttles included.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 30, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Oh, don’t say Casino, another opportunity shot down by the elite.