Downtown Sioux City Hotel set to be auctioned

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials are hoping a foreclosure sale this summer of the Sioux City Hotel and Convention Center will net a buyer willing to make major renovations to the troubled downtown property.

The 10-story hotel is set to be auctioned at a Woodbury County Sheriff's sale July 15, the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/1oHVsfK ) reported Saturday.

Proceeds from the sale will help satisfy a more than $5.2 million judgment a court awarded May 2 to the Illinois bank that foreclosed on the property.

The judgment for First Bank and Trust Company of Illinois is against two of the hotel's former owners, Choa Hope LLC and Tower Sioux City LLC.

Since the property went into receivership, the landmark hotel has been managed by a court-approved third party. The sheriff's sale comes after several failed attempts by a national real estate broker to find a buyer.

Last fall, a Florida-based investment group announced a tentative agreement to spend $4 million to purchase the hotel and another $6.5 million for a top-to-bottom renovation, but the deal eventually fell through.

The city has a big stake in the outcome of the sale, because the Sioux City Hotel is the only hotel connected via the downtown skywalk with the city-owned Convention Center. The hotel's deteriorating condition in recent years has hindered bookings of large overnight events.

The site is the most desirable location for a downtown hotel, not only connected to the Convention Center, but also is next door to the Historic Fourth Street district and other entertainment options, City Events Facilities Director Erika Newton said.

"If anybody wants to make money on a hotel, that's the right place to do it," she said.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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