UPDATE; At it's special meeting Tuesday, the Mason City City Council voted unanimously to terminate its downtown project agreement with G8 Development.
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MASON CITY, Iowa – A special meeting of the City Council is scheduled to terminate the River City Renaissance agreement with G8 Development.
Mason City sent a notice of default to the San Diego-based developer on September 7 and gave them 45 days to provide prove G8 had financial backing for the multi-million dollar downtown project. City Administrator Aaron Burnett says G8 has not provided the requested documents but has replied with a letter calling Mason City’s conduct “completely unacceptable.”
The letter from G8 Development’s attorney claims the company is not in default of its agreement with the city and that it has never had any sort of agreement with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which is demanding proof of financial backing before providing any state funding for the Renaissance project.
The Mason City City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. to vote on cancelling the agreement with G8 Development.
With so many roadblocks, we asked business owners if they are still interested and supportive of the project.
Angi Louscher co-owns Lucy & Olive, a home décor store that's been in business for a little over two years, not far from the project area, and was initially in favor of the development.
"Probably more stores like this would open up. I think we could get more stores put back in the mall, or do something different with the mall."
As for what's next in the project, she still remains supportive.
"I'm hoping that somehow we can figure out a way to make it happen and whether it's with the current investor or if it's with someone new. I don't think it would be anything but good for us."
City Administrator Aaron Burnett is wanting to keep moving forward with the development, saying it could have a huge economic impact on the local economy.
"That time to cure has run out, those 45 days within the default period. Now that the council has to move forward with the electing to terminate or not tomorrow at the council meeting."
Burnett adds that no other developer has been chosen yet, as the council had been committed to working with G8. Even with the delays, he's in support of the project.
"It's not to say that the project's merits aren't there. We still see the benefit of people coming to the community for conventions, coming for the arena, being able to listen to music at the pavilion, the hotel...all those developments are still positive for the community."
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