Coralville Looks to Add New Hotel, Shopping Center to Iowa River Landing

By Jami Brinton, Reporter

The Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 in the Iowa River Landing district of Coralville. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

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By Tracy McCullough

Within two years, construction could begin on a new 100-room hotel and a shopping center in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing.

“This is another addition that will be very, very good for the particular area,” said Kelly Hayworth, city administrator for Coralville.

The city believes this will allow them to recruit larger conventions to the area who want lodging close by. Then, once you add the University of Iowa’s new outpatient medical facility that is expected to generate over 300,000 patient visits per year, the need for more hotels in that area will only grow.

“It is not surprising that there’s a lot of people looking to do deals with the city,” said Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Schamberger said he receives inquiries monthly to do feasibility studies for various developers. He would not be surprised if a second hotel is built near the area, too, by the Drury hotel chain based out of St. Louis, Missouri. The company owns the vacant lot between Perkins Restaurant and the new Banadana’s Bar-B-Q.

In addition to hotels, Coralville also wants to add a large retail development project to the Iowa River Landing.

Hayworth announced Tuesday morning at the Iowa Department of Transportation meeting in Dubuque that an anchor department store for this project would be announced soon.

“We’re looking at a wide variety of local and national tenants,” he said. “Fashion to maybe a small grocery store…coffee shops to full service restaurants to service the people who will be in that area.”

Tuesday night city council members will set a public hearing for the disposal of property to the hotel operator. The hearing will be held in 30 days. If the project is approved, Hayworth would like to see construction on the hotel start in 2012.

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