Waterloo City Council Approves $8.5 Million in Renovations to Ramada Hotel

posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 in Economic Development

Waterloo City Council approves $8.5 Million in renovations to downtown Waterloo Ramada Hotel

We think it is easy to say we can speak for the entire Cedar Valley when we say we are beyond excited by the announcement that came from the Waterloo City Council meeting MondayWaterloo City Council approves $8.5 Million in renovations to downtown Waterloo Ramada Hotel evening. South Dakota-based company Makenda LLC intends on investing $8.5 Million in renovations to the Ramada Hotel in downtown Waterloo. 

Original article and photos from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier  & City of Waterloo press release. 

“There’s a lot of people that have spent a lot of money renovating downtown and rejuvenating it,” said Brian Kern, president and CEO of South Dakota-based Makenda LLC. “You can drive around and you can see it; you can see where you’re headed. This is a project that everybody’s going to be proud of,” he added.

Mayor Hart says, “Great projects take time and persistence. We are pleased with the investment Makenda is making in downtown Waterloo.  Working together, we will create a convention destination in downtown everyone will be proud of. These venues are an important centerpiece of the downtown master plan redevelopment.”

“The sense of pride we have witnessed in Waterloo is contagious,” says Brian Kern. “The united support for the project demonstrated by the City, Waterloo Development Corp, Grow Cedar Valley, Experience Waterloo and Main Street Waterloo is rare and something we want to be a part of. This is going to be a great collaboration!”

Kern said has done more than 50 projects nationwide, is planning to buy the 10-story downtown hotel and renovate it as a dual brand Best Western Plus and Executive Residency, with 99 regular rooms and 69 extended-stay units.

The agreement includes a $450,000 city grant; 85 percent property tax rebates over the next 20 years; hotel-motel tax rebates for 20 years; and a city commitment to invest between $4.9 million and $9.8 million in improvements to the adjacent Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center and common areas over the next five years.

“We’ll be able to take that property and completely convert into something that’s really needed downtown,” said Rod Lindquist, Makenda’s vice president of development. “It will take a very tired property and make it brand new.”

Lindquist said closing on the hotel purchase is expected in early November with renovations completed by August next year.