Photo Gallery 6 Images
MASON CITY, Iowa - It’s an exciting day for Mason City city leaders as they turned dirt on the site of the proposed multipurpose arena.
“This afternoon we break ground on the place marking the River City Renaissance Project,” Mayor Bill Schickel said with dozens of cheers following.
The Mayor and supports of the River City Renaissance Project touted job creation, businesses and progress. On display, renderings of the future of Mason City for people like Buck Lee to see.
“Been a long time coming,” he said. “I’m glad to see it.”
Lee has been involved with Mason City Youth Hockey since the beginning.
“We opened our doors and would take in 1, 2 sometimes three players who would come to play in tournaments,” he said.
He sees this move as the next step for hockey in Mason City as well as moving the city forward.
“I think it’s one of the better things that’s happened in the downtown area in a long time,” Lee said.
But the city isn’t without worry. State funding totaling around $10 million hasn’t been secured. Around half of that money would go towards the multipurpose arena project. City leaders said they plan to have the agreement with Gatehouse Capital, the developers of the hotel, by early this month. Mayor Schickel is confident they will have it in hand by the February 19th council meeting.
“I think we have a lot of momentum behind this project,” Mayor Schickel explained.
But those funds aren’t keeping hope from those supporting the project.
“I have an old saying,” said Lee. “Once my rich uncle gets out of the poorhouse I’ll help him.”
The council will be voting to open up the bidding process for second phase of the arena portion of the project.
What will Mason City’s new multipurpose arena look like? And what about the hotel and convention center that is planned?
The city released renderings of both projects Monday during the groundbreaking of the new downtown multipurpose arena.
Click through the gallery above to see the renderings.
We will have more on the projects during our newscasts tonight.