Mason City cuts ties with downtown hotel & convention center developer, search renews for new developer

MASON CITY — The City of Mason City has officially terminated its relationship with the proposed developer of a downtown hotel and convention center and will immediately begin the process of seeking a new developer.

The city announced today that it has terminated its relationship with MCCCH LLC and SBMC LLC, both headed by developer David Rachie, as part of the River City Renaissance Reinvestment District project. The city will also take ownership of Southbridge Mall effective immediately.

The termination actions were completed after the May 11th deadline set by the city for Rachie to move forward with making agreed financial commitments.

Mayor Bill Schickel in a written statement says with the clean break, the city is confident that they’ll be able to secure a new developer and mall owner. That was something the city was prohibited from doing while still under contract with Rachie, but now that the agreement has expired, they can move forward.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett says in the statement that moving forward with a new developer and mall owner is now a top priority, and the city remains confident the project vision is viable, meets a regional need, and can be achieved with a new developer and a fresh start.

The transition protects businesses in the mall from possible business interruptions.

The completed two-thirds of the River City Renaissance project, the Mason City Arena and the Principal Performing Arts Pavilion, have already spurred millions of dollars of new investment into the downtown area.