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Mason City City Council votes to change developers for River City Renaissance project

G8 Development, which submitted its proposal last Tuesday, lowered the amount of money they will need to be loaned from $3.8 million to $3.7 million.

Posted: Nov 27, 2017 11:47 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2017 6:43 AM

MASON CITY, IA- After three hours of Mason City City Staff negotiating between the two developers with proposals to build the River City Renaissance project, changes have been made and G8 Development was selected.

G8 Development, which submitted its proposal last Tuesday, lowered the amount of money they will need to be loaned from $3.8 million to $3.7 million. They also lowered the amount of pre-construction costs from $750,000 to $500,000. Gatehouse Capital stood by their proposal not making any changes.

The Mason City City Council then held a special meeting Monday night to determine which project would be in the public’s interest.
“Based on our side-by-side comparison of both bids, the bid from G8 Development best meets the public’s interest,” stated Mason City Interim City Administrator Kevin Jacobson.

The public then voiced their opinions on who the city should choose for the project with a majority siding with Gatehouse.
“You need to look at the whole picture not just the cost but the value of it,” said one Mason City resident.

“I’m all about minimizing risk but what’s inherently more risky, someone who has a track record of failing to deliver?” said another. “How many times do we touch the fire and go, 'oh, man, that’s hot?'”

The council started the voting process on the Interim Administrator’s recommendation of G8 Development. That was voted down 4-2.
The Gatehouse Capital proposal was then brought up for discussion, but before the elected officials could cast their votes the council took their second recess. When the council returned, mayor-elect Bill Schickel voted to bring the G8 proposal back up for a vote, approving it.

G8 came to the table today,” said councilman Travis Hickey. “We had a bidding process and they came to the table three times and changed theirs. Gatehouse stuck with their original plan, and that’s fine, but don’t discredit G8 Development for coming to the table and trying to mitigate risk.”

City staff stated that this will not impact the project being on the IEDA’s December Agenda to qualify for state money.

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