A new hotel and convention center is headed to downtown Muscatine, Iowa, thanks in large part to assistance from the state.
On Friday, March 27, 2015, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board gave final approval to plans for a reinvestment district, which means the first $10 million in hotel and motel taxes generated by the project will be rebated.
In 2014, ten Iowa cities applied for the program, but only three, including Muscatine, Waterloo, and Des Moines received preliminary approval.
"It was really exciting to be there. I've never been in that room before when there was actual applause, but we couldn't resist," said Greg Jenkins, president and CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The reinvestment district was considered crucial to the hotel project. Hotel Stanley will be a 112-room, six-story hotel, with conference center and parking garage. The entire project is expected to total more than $41 million.
Jenkins hopes it will spark further development in the downtown area.
"This downtown used to have a reputation for the place to be on a Friday night, that it would be packed with people. That would be really cool to go back to being like that again," said Jenkins.
At the Missipi Brewing Company, manager Alex Armstrong believes the project will bring in business for him, as well.
"Oh yeah, that would be great for us. That would be great for everybody downtown," said Armstrong.
Jenkins says the developers hope to break ground on the Hotel Stanley later this summer and finish the project in 2017.