Editor's note: The Journal today continues the countdown of the Top 10 Stories of 2018 in Siouxland, as chosen by Journal editors. The No. 1 story will be revealed on Dec. 29, and the Journal's annual Newsmaker of the Year will be named on Dec. 30.
SIOUX CITY -- Two major projects moved forward in downtown Sioux City in 2018 -- the renovation of the Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building, which has been vacant for more than 40 years, and the construction of a five-story Courtyard by Marriott Hotel next to the Sioux City Convention Center.
Plans call for the Warrior and part of the Davidson to be converted into a Marriott Autograph brand hotel. Along with nearly 150 rooms, the hotel will include full-service amenities with a restaurant, bar, ballroom, banquet kitchen, pre-function space, business and exercise centers, and commercial space. The Davidson will have restaurant and commercial space on the first floor, 54 hotel rooms on the second through fourth floors and 22 luxury apartments on the fifth and sixth floors.
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A planned skywalk crossing Sixth Street will connect the two buildings with the Orpheum Theatre and Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation Center's parking ramp. Surface parking with 130 spaces will sit to the north of the hotel.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded the $71 million Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building renovation project more than $11.3 million in historic preservation tax credits, which is $5 million short of the $16.5 million the Sioux City Council agreed to guarantee. Roger Caudron, a spokesman for developer Lew Weinberg, told the Journal the project could be awarded the additional $5 million in the state's next budget year.
The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel is being being built on the Sioux City Convention Center's main parking lot. The more than $25 million project also includes the construction of a parking ramp behind the new hotel and the addition of a ballroom to the convention center.
North Liberty, Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Co. will construct the hotel while the city will complete the convention center modifications and the two-story parking structure, at the corner of Fifth and Virginia streets, just north of the main lot. The project is expected to be completed in July 2019.
Another Reinvestment District project, the Siouxland Expo, also advanced in 2018, as local officials redefined its purpose.
Due to cost, the overall square footage of the project was reduced and equestrian-related features were eliminated. The $12.5 million multi-purpose center now features 80,000 square feet of exposition space to accommodate large expos and youth sports rather than equestrian and other agricultural events. After the change, several sponsors, including Wells Enterprises and Bomgaars pulled their donations.
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