- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo officials approved more funding this week for a long-planned development that will include research facilities, a hotel and restaurants.

The City Council on Monday voted 6-0 to raise Waterloo’s general obligation bond award from almost $13 million to nearly $21 million for the Cedar Valley Techworks project. The council’s action solidifies a $55 million financing package for the development and is expected to allow construction to begin this fall, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1IbSOIo ) reported.

The partnership between the city, nonprofit Cedar Valley Techworks Inc. and private investor Financial District Partners will create a new, 180-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel and restaurant, conference and training center in the vacant Tech 2 building. It also will help build out the advanced manufacturing center in the Tech 1 building.

President Steve Dust of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber said the project will be an economic boost to the area.

“The citizens of Waterloo are getting a huge new attraction, one of the largest tourism attractions in the state,” he said. “They’re getting a big boost in tax base over a period of time and a lot of jobs.”

Council members supported the new agreement despite recent lawsuits filed by a Kansas City, Missouri, developer against Financial District Partner’s Rodney Blackwell.

Blackwell said the developer’s claims to 20 percent of any profits from the Techworks development and one of the firm’s redevelopment project in Wisconsin lacked merit.

“He’s never been here before, he’s never worked here before and I don’t believe anybody in the room knows who he is,” Blackwell said. “We will respond appropriately, and it won’t affect this project going forward.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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