CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The Courtway Park project aims to transform the primary entrance into the community, anchored by a Fairfield Inn hotel that's set to open soon, as well as the Starboard Quare retail space and adjacent lots, and an under construction Old Dominion terminal.
City Councilperson Bennett Smith says there has been plenty of interest with the site.
"We've had some ongoing discussions I know our city staff has with potential people there and with the developer. We'll look forward to hearing in the future what works out there."
Now, a new development project on the other side of Interstate 35 aims to do the same.
As part of changes to Clear Lake's Urban Renewal Area, city council approved a letter of intent with Texas-based Embree Development Group for a 50,000+ sq. ft. space anchored by Hy-Vee.
Smith says having an anchor project that's funded by private sector investment and leadership can help spin off further development, while coming at no risk to taxpayers.
"It's really important to get an anchor project that's funded by private sector investment and leadership, while on the public side, we can come along and incentivize the completion and catalyze further economic development, and make sure there's no risk to taxpayers in how we incentivize that development. That's really crucial because the incentives we provide are on the back end and are based on performance."
Smith notes that public support for the project, an $8 million investment, has been overwhelmingly supportive because of the addition of jobs, have a significatn payroll and potential for further development. For those who feel that smaller businesses may be affected, he feels Hy-Vee would serve as a complement as opposed to a competitor.
"Our small business community has a very strong, loyal following. We believe in our small businesses in Clear Lake, we support them, and I would encourage people to continue to do that."
Groundbreaking is expected to start next month.