AMES, Iowa – The City of Ames has approved an agreement with developers to construct a huge $155 million dollar complex of retail, housing, hotel, and parking garages. The project is called Linc and runs between Clark Ave. and Kellogg Ave., along Lincoln Way.
At a city council meeting Tuesday night, some residents came out to voice their opposition to the program.
“Do not go ahead in haste, there are too many concerns which must be addressed,” said Susie Petra, a resident of Ames. “The public simply hasn’t been given the time to really understand or weigh in, I respectfully suggest a complete occupancy rate study.”
“All the things we talked about in the Lincoln Way Corridor plan,” said Chuck Winkleblack, the developer with Hunziker & Associates, Realtors. “I would just urge your approval so that we can go to the next step which is finalizing the agreement.”
Some raised objections over the nearby CyTown Development planned for Iowa State Center, which would also include retail, a hotel, and restaurants.
“The projections were made before the $200 million project called CyTown, was announced.” said Sue Ravenscroft, a resident of Ames. “CyTown is going to provide some direct competition with parts of what is being planned in the Link.”
“This is a game changer for us,” said Kevin Bourke, of Discover Ames. “CyTown I don’t feel, and I’ve had conversations with athletics, is not a competitor, this project enhances that.”
City Council members weighed in before the final positive vote.
“It was about seeing people not wanting us to annex outer territories, the alternative to that is to grow up,” said Bronwynn Beatty-Hansen, an Ames City Council member.
“To be able to say that there’s a group willing to invest this much money in our community, and make downtown Ames a place where you can truly live work and play, I think is something we can be excited about,” said Amber Corrieri, a member of the Ames City Council.
After the Site Plan is completed an approval of the project can move forward. Construction could take place from 2024 through 2028, before the giant project is completed.