River City Renaissance projects progressing

Announcement on hotel and convention center expected soon, city says

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 1:17 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's Mason City's major downtown development that includes many amenities, including an arena, hotel and conference center, and sky walk.

Progress on many River City Renaissance projects is going strong: the roofline of the multi-purpose arena is being built, and concrete has been poured for seating. At last week's city council meeting, an issuance for Bid Package #4, which would convert former retail space into offices next to the arena, was approved. In addition, City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the sale of a parking lot across from the arena that will be used for a future apartment and townhome complex is expected to close soon.

It's something Shawn Anderson is excited about.

"If the rent's affordable, that'll be easy to live on. Right now, it's hard to find an apartment that's affordable for people."

On Thursday, Music Man Square opened for the tourism season. The museum will soon be undergoing some changes as a hotel and convention center will be constructed across the street, with a sky bridge to connect the two to the museum also being constructed. Nick Whitehurst is the events coordinator with Music Man Square, and is excited about the impact a sky bridge will have on the project.

"It's great for Mason City's tourism. Bringing in extra things with the arena, it also brings more people into the square, shopping downtown. It's all great things for Mason City."

In a video posted to the city's Facebook page Thursday morning, Mayor Bill Schickel says an announcement regarding that part of the project is expected to be made very soon.

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