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OUR OPINION: Marto Brewing strengthens future of downtown still more

November 15, 2018

As expected, an end to years of litigation related to what commonly is known as the Promenade complex in downtown Sioux City opened the door to additional commercial interest in the site.

On Wednesday, Erik Martin announced plans for Marto Brewing Company to lease 7,300 square feet of space adjacent to the Promenade Cinema 14 movie theaters at the corner of Fourth and Virginia streets for a brewery, taproom and restaurant. (Read more about Marto on today’s front page of The Journal.)

We welcome the addition of this dynamic project. A new tenant for the complex will translate into increased traffic in this area of downtown and more traffic should be beneficial to business for the movie theaters and for the other tenant, 6 South Design, not to mention for other nearby businesses and the city’s tax rolls.

The announcement adds a new dimension to an area of downtown undergoing significant positive change. In addition to Marto, work to renovate the Convention Center across the street from the Promenade complex and construct a Courtyard by Marriott hotel and parking ramp next to the Convention Center is planned or under way. That work is part of the city’s proposed Reinvestment District Program designed to leverage more than $13 million in state money for revitalizing several key areas of our community. Other pieces include renovation of the old Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building in the 500 block of Sixth Street into a combination hotel and residential/commercial/retail complex; redevelopment to residential and commercial use by Ho-Chunk Inc. of several former industrial buildings in the 100 block of Virginia Street; and construction of the Siouxland Expo Center in the former stockyards area.

Because we believe its vibrancy is vital to our community’s future, we frequently use this space to champion downtown. Based on progress achieved in recent years and plans for the future, we believe the best days for downtown lie ahead. The Marto project will strengthen the future of downtown still more.

As for the past, we do not dismiss entirely the related legal issues and have suggested the need for the city to learn lessons from its agreement with Civic Partners, a Huntington Beach, California, developer, for construction of what is commonly referred to as the Promenade complex.

In considering the future, though, we choose to look at the glass as half full. Consider: 1) The city will recoup at least $1.45 million of the $2.5 million it spent on the deal as a result of a settlement with Civic Partners approved by the City Council late last year. 2) The movie theaters continue to flourish with plans for a $1 million upgrade. 3) A big chunk of the remaining space in the complex will be filled by Marto.

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