CBJ Report: Amana Society breaks ground on Hotel Millwright project

A rendering of the Hotel Millwright. (photo courtesy Vantage Point LLC)

Retail strip coming to former Prince Agri site in Marion

A new 12,000-square-foot retail strip is coming to the redevelopment area in Marion's Central Corridor.

Todd and Tami Culver are developing the retail strip on a 1.75-acre site at 2931 7th Ave., Marion, east of the Marriott Hotel currently under construction. The strip is 70 percent pre-leased, according to Mr. Culver, and tenants will be announced within the next two months.

Construction is expected to begin soon with the building shell complete in time for tenant build-outs to begin shortly after Thanksgiving, Mr. Culver said.

The project site is in a redevelopment area that was long the site of Prince Agri, a supplier of animal nutrition products.

The Culvers recently began work on another Marion development that will bring 43,200 square feet of Flex Space to 370 44th St. The space will be available to plumbers, electricians and other contractors who need office and material space for their businesses.

The project made use of extra land that came with the recent purchase of Corridor Storage, an automated 24-hour storage facility, Mr. Culver said. The storage facility at 4150 Third Ave. is immediately adjacent to the project site, he added.

Amana Society breaks ground on Hotel Millwright project

Amana Society, Inc. held a ceremonial groundbreaking last week in Amana at the future site of Hotel Millwright, expected to open in early 2020.

"Today is a special day as we officially break ground on the Hotel Millwright and start a critical restoration for the historic Amana Woolen Mill complex," John Peterson, president and CEO of the Amana Society, said in a release. "This property, once completed, will be a wonderful destination in Eastern Iowa for business and leisure travelers seeking a special one-of-a-kind experience."

Currently being developed by Hobart Historic Restoration and designed by the architectural firm Vantage Point LLC, the Hotel Millwright will feature 65 guestrooms, including five suites, a signature restaurant/bar, a spa/fitness center, and more than 7,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and convention space.

The design, branding, and theme pay homage to the Amana Woolen Mill millwrights of the past.In the same way that millwrights installed, dismantled, repaired, reassembled and moved machinery in the mill, Hotel Millwright will be an anchor for the rejuvenation and redevelopment of the mill complex.

The addition of Hotel Millwright plays a key part in Amana Society's strategy for adding stability to its tourist-based businesses by increasing hospitality options in the Amana Colonies.

"The retail and hotel combination will be a benefit to one another. The new development will offer amenities to guests that set us apart from the current marketplace, including the continuation of the over 160 years of Amana wool and cotton blanket sales and production." said Jeff Popenhagen, Amana Society's Director of Marketing & Retail Sales.

"The groundbreaking of Hotel Millwright marks the creation of a unique hotel concept for the Amana Colonies - a modern boutique hotel combined with all the accommodations of a branded hotel," BJ Hobart, owner of Hobart Historic Restoration, said in a release. "We couldn't be happier to be on our way to welcoming guests to a project in the Amana Colonies built on preservation, sustainability, and community growth."

Instacart to begin on-demand grocery delivery in Corridor

Instacart, the nation's largest on-demand grocery delivery service, will begin delivery service on Aug. 15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo and Dubuque.

Instacart will offer deliveries from a variety of local retailers including Hy-Vee, Sam's Club, Natural Grocers, CVS Pharmacy and Petco. The delivery area will cover over 223,000 households, and will provide new income opportunities for hundreds of new "shoppers."

Instacart was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former Amazon employee, initially serving the West Coast communities of San Francisco, Mountain View and Palo Alto, California. It provides deliveries primarily through a network of independent contractors.

Hy-Vee announced last month that it will offer home delivery services in Des Moines through a partnership with home delivery companies Instacart and Shipt, the Des Moines Register reported.

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