Waterloo Sells Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center
Waterloo city leaders have agreed to sell the aging Five Sullivan Brothers Convention to a Nebraska-based company. Leslie Hospitality of Omaha will be the new owner of the 42-year-old facility once the transaction is finalized.
The Waterloo City Council voted 4-0 -- with three abstentions -- to approve the purchase agreement following a public hearing Monday night (July 17, 2017). Many business leaders who attended the meeting supported the sale.
Leslie Hospitality plans to make an initial investment of $6 million to upgrade the crumbling structure and give it a new name. Under terms of the deal, the facility will be called The Waterloo Convention Center at Sullivan Brothers Plaza.
Initially, Leslie Hospitality had planned to drop the Sullivans’ name from the building before a compromise was reached earlier this month. According to Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, the square block where the convention center is built will be designated as the Sullivan Brothers Plaza. The company has committed to building a memorial to Waterloo's famous siblings.
Buying the convention center isn't the only investment that Leslie Hospitality is making in the city. The company also plans to buy the adjacent Ramada Hotel and invest $14 million on upgrades to the high-rise building. Under the new owners, the 248-room lodging center would be rebranded as a Hotel RL.