WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Waterloo's 'eyesore' is coming down.
The former Waterloo Greyhound Park is a decaying mess as its fate sits in the hands of the court system. (Brandon Pollock/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
In a news release Sunday morning, officials with Deer Creek Development announced a three-way agreement to demolish the Waterloo Greyhound Park, beginning this month, after the facility sat defunct and decaying for nearly 20 years.
The National Cattle Congress and the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi (Meskwaki Nation) had been feuding in court over the property's ownership. Deer Creek said in its release it was able to mediate an agreement between all three groups, closing the deal April 25th.
“To finalize this agreement, the Meskwaki Tribal Council more than met the NCC (National Cattle Congress) halfway,” said Harold Youngblut, president, and CEO of Deer Creek Development, in the release. “Meskwaki and NCC were most gracious in their dealings with Deer Creek Development and enough cannot be said about all parties coming together to bring this agreement to fruition.”
As part of the deal, Deer Creek will acquire Greyhound Park's 64-acres with plans to use the land for anything from “restaurants and retail to a hotel and a convention center.” Specifics weren't immediately released.
Company officials pointed out the acquisition isn't requiring TIF dollars or government funding.
“We believe that this is a win for not just the parties involved but for the general public as well,” said Anthony Waseskuk, tribal chairman, in the release. “The Cattle Congress will continue to provide entertainment to the residents of Black Hawk County, the City of Waterloo will finally see the eyesore known as the Waterloo Greyhound Park demolished and the tribe will receive a fair settlement under the original agreement with the Cattle Congress."
The Cattle Congress will be able to maintain ownership of the Electric Ballroom and fairgrounds while Woodlands Construction Inc., a tribally charted corporation owned by the Sac and Fox Tribe, will demolish the park.
“We would like to thank both the Meskwaki Tribal Council and Deer Creek Development for working together with us to find a solution that was in the best interest of our community,” said Wally Mochal, board president of the National Cattle Congress, in the release. “It will be fantastic to have beautiful new development underway along busy Highways 20 and 63."
The city of Waterloo expressed excitement over the closing. Mayor Quentin Hart called it a "win-win-win situation," in Deer Creek's news release.
"Tearing down the greyhound park will be a catalyst to revitalize the southern entrance to Waterloo," said Hart. "And as the Greenbelt Centre continues to expand, it will bring new businesses and jobs to the city and increase our tax base—this will benefit all our residents."