Polk County has committed nearly $30 million in additional financing to build a convention hotel attached to the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.
The county board of supervisors this week agreed to loan up to $29 million through a partnership with Bankers Trust to kick-start construction on the $101 million hotel project, which will be managed and operated by Hilton. The loan is part of a layered financing structure that will take the place of a foreign investment program initially proposed for the project.
The EB-5 foreign investment option was abandoned because it would have delayed disbursement of funds until the summer and added complexity, Polk County Administrator Mark Wandro told the Iowa Events Center Hotel Corp. board Wednesday.
“Between the fees, the interest rates, the complexity of the (EB-5) loan program … it would be easier to simply have the county step into that position,” Wandro said.
He said the county can afford the loan by refinancing the Iowa Events Center downtown.
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