A new 330-room convention center hotel planned for the corner of 5th St. and Park in downtown Des Moines is expected to begin construction next week. The hotel has been a long time coming in planning, as a key support component to the Iowa Events Center and Wells Fargo Arena.
Now on the eve of construction, Kent Darr of the Business Record reports financing for the convention center may be shifting:
Construction should begin next month on the 330-room hotel at Fifth Avenue and Park Streets, supported by financing that has undergone significant shifts in the last month, primarily due to a decision to end efforts to secure $20 million in second-tier construction financing from a controversial federal program that provides permanent visas to wealthy foreign nationals who invest in economic development projects.
The Polk County Board of Supervisors voted Feb. 2 to use gaming revenues to guarantee $27 million of a construction loan from a consortium of state lenders led by Bankers Trust Co. The board also will loan up to $29 million once the Iowa Events Center Hotel is completed in two years. Read more
As part of its financing for the project, the city of Des Moines had agreed to back up to $5 million of the $20 million loan from the federal immigration program. With that program off the table, the City Council will be asked to guarantee up to $10 million, including $1.5 million in interest fees, of proceeds that are expected to be generated under the Iowa Reinvestment Act.
For more information about the changes to the convention center hotel, read the full article from the Business Record here.