Ten municipalities throughout the state have filed applications with the Iowa Economic Development Authority in hopes of becoming inaugural recipients of a new financing opportunity, funded by future state hotel/motel tax and new sales-and-use tax revenues. This financing mechanism, known as the Iowa Reinvestment Act, was signed into law during last year’s legislative session. This unique funding tool is opening new doors for communities and economic developers across the state.
The ten applicants are collectively seeking around $132.1 million in state financial assistance, well above the Act’s statutory lifetime cap of $100 million. This discrepancy is but one of the issues Director Debi Durham and the selection committee at the Iowa Economic Development Authority will be forced to weigh as they determine which applications will receive funding and the level of funding each approved project will receive. The ten proposals received by the authority for evaluation are:
1. City of Ames: Dinosaur Park and Museum, Menards, Hotel, and Restaurant;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $48.4 million;
i. $4.1 million for the dinosaur park and museum;
ii. $15 million for the Menards;
iii. $15.25 million for the hotel;
iv. $1 million for the restaurant;
v. $4 million for site acquisition;
vi. $3,528,360 in infrastructure and site preparation costs;
vii. $1.5 million in soft costs, such as planning and service fees; and
viii. $4,037,836 in contingency costs;
b. Requested State Assistance: $14.7 million.
2. City of Bettendorf: Indoor Sports Complex, Technology and Business Park, Shopping Center, and Hotel;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $165 million;
i. $55 million for the sports complex;
ii. $40 million for the technology and business park;
iii. $60 million for the shopping center; and
iv. $10 million for the hotel;
b. Requested State Assistance: $8.4 million.
3. City of Davenport: Community Entertainment District;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $73.5 million;
i. $4 million for an indoor/outdoor aquatic center;
ii. $4 million for a festival and events center;
iii. $30 million for retail and restaurant space;
iv. $7.5 million for a performance theater;
v. $4 million for a connective walkway throughout the district;
vi. $24 million for a hotel;
b. Requested State Assistance: $17.5 million.
4. City of Des Moines: Iowa Events Center Convention Hotel, Downtown Grocery Store, Apartments, and Streets and Parking Improvements, and Renovation of the Randolph Hotel;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $181 million;
i. $130 million for the hotel and convention center;
ii. $27.9 million for construction of a Hy-Vee, apartments, and parking near the Court District in Downtown Des Moines;
iii. $16.1 million to renovate the Randolph Hotel; and
iv. Nearly $7 million for street and parking improvements downtown;
b. Requested State Assistance: $36.5 million.
5. City of Grinnell: Conference Center and Brownells Development;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $35.5 million;
i. $12.3 million for construction of a conference center;
ii. $11.6 million for Brownells shooting range and education center;
iii. $7.3 million for a hotel; and
iv. $4.3 million in infrastructure improvements for the City of Grinnell;
b. Requested State Assistance: $11.8 million.
6. City of Johnston: Merle Hay Road Hotel and Convention Center and Retail Center;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $23.8 million;
i. $17.1 million for a hotel and convention center;
ii. $2.3 million for a separate retail center; and
iii. $4.4 million in infrastructure improvements for the City of Johnston;
b. Requested State Assistance: $5.3 million.
7. City of Mason City: Hotel and Conference Center, Performing Arts Center, and Mixed Use Development and Retail;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $26 million;
i. $14 million for the hotel and conference center;
ii. $4.5 million for a parking lot adjacent to the hotel;
iii. $4.5 million for the performing arts center; and
iv. $3 million for the mixed use development and retail;
b. Requested State Assistance: $4.5 million.
8. City of Muscatine: Hotel and Convention Center, Parking Garage, and Skywalk Connection from Hotel and Conference Center to Downtown Muscatine;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $41 million;
i. $22.2 million for the hotel;
ii. $5.5 million for the parking garage;
iii. $4.5 million for the convention center; and
iv. $8.8 million for the skywalk;
b. Requested State Assistance: $10 million.
9. City of Waterloo: Cedar Valley Techworks Campus Expansion;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $68.1 million;
i. $55.6 million in private development funds for a mixed-use hotel, corporate training, and campus wide costs;
ii. $12.5 million in not-for-profit funds for light manufacturing, an industrial incubator, and marketplace; and
iii. The John Deere Museum will be privately funded and is not included in the anticipated project cost;
b. Requested State Assistance: $12 million.
10. City of West Des Moines: Sportsplex, Two Hotels, and Two Retail Buildings;
a. Anticipated Project Cost: $38 million;
i. $10.8 million for the indoor sports complex;
ii. $20 million for the two hotels; and
iii. $7.2 million for the two retail buildings;
b. Requested State Assistance: $11.4 million.
The IEDA is now tasked with evaluating each project on a 100 point scale. Scoring is largely contingent upon the uniqueness and economic impact of a project, as these two categories are scored on 25 point scales, with the remaining 50 points distributed among 5 categories, each scored on 10 point scales: 1) the basis of project feasibility, 2) capital investment, 3) funding leverage, 4) non-retail focus, and 5) additional factors, such as project readiness, geographic diversity, and funding need.
The evaluation process will be performed throughout the next few months, as the IEDA has until June 30th to provide conditional approval to a project. Upon receiving conditional approval, applicants will have until March 2015 to finalize their plans and present them to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
For the March 15, 2014 Des Moines Register article, click here . You can also contact the Iowa Economic Development Authority for additional information at 515-725-3150.