WATERLOO | The City Council has renewed its financial support for the planned $50 million Cedar Valley TechWorks project.
Council members voted 5-0 Monday to approve an amended development agreement with Cedar Valley TechWorks Inc. and Davenport-based FDP Properties. Councilmen Bob Greenwood and Quentin Hart were absent.
The agreement extends the completion date for the project, being developed in former John Deere buildings on Westfield Avenue downtown, and splits the city's original $12.75 million incentive grant to allow some of the work to begin before the rest of the project is ready to go.
"I guess we need to be a little more patient," said Councilman Steve Schmitt. "I don't know that we needed to tie (each element) together in the first place."
Mayor Buck Clark also said he's comfortable the developers are committed to completion.
"It's a big project with a lot of moving parts," Clark said. "We were all hoping it would happen more quickly that it has, but it's all coming together and it's going to be an incredible project."
The original agreement approved in January 2012 required the developers to have financing in place by Sept. 30, 2012, and committed $12.75 million in city general obligation bonds in return for the developer's $40 million investment.
Cedar Valley TechWorks Inc. is renovating one of the buildings into a business incubator and office building with an attached John Deere Waterloo Tractor and Engine Museum.
FDP Properties is to develop The Green @ TechWorks, including a 100-room hotel-restaurant complex; "Class A" showroom and office space; a training center for John Deere employees; and a "green zone" of industrial and commercial business activity in the other building.
The amended agreement splits the city's bond issue supporting the project into $3.5 million for TechWorks site improvements — parking lots, landscaping and roads — to be sold by Jan. 31, 2014, and a second $9.25 million bond issue for FDP's project to be sold by June 30, 2014.
FDP was given until June 15, 2015, to substantially complete the project.
The agreement includes a provision that FDP must provide collateral before the city sells the bonds and must agree to a minimum assessed value providing enough new property tax revenue to cover the city's principal and interest on those bonds through 2032.
Officials with Cedar Valley TechWorks Inc. and FDP have indicated the delays in getting the project underway were related to attempts to secure historic tax credits as part of the financing plan.