Developers unveil plans for historic hotel in Okoboji, IA
OKOBOJI, Iowa (KTIV) -
A landmark in the Iowa Great Lakes Area has seen its end.
The Inn at Okoboji has stood on the lakefront since 1896.
Now, it seems the continued legacy of the historic hotel is grim.
Its destruction could pave the way for a new communal area in Okoboji.
"Everything is in place and everything is in motion," said Mike Jensen, White Cap LLC Manager.
White Cap LLC, a development firm out of Rapid City, SD, bought the 33-building, 155-unit inn and the land it sits on in December 2017.
Monday night, they announced plans to demolish the hotel and let the open lots breathe as green space.
"They really felt it was important to preserve the neighborhood and the area," said Jensen. "They were really interested in keeping everything in the same character that it's been for so many years."
White Cap representatives say the park will span 70 acres, the largest in the lakes area.
There are no definitive plans at this time, but the developers envision green space with paved trails, park benches, and tons of natural vegetation.
A project, with the goal in mind of preserving water quality at the lakes.
"Everything here is done with the idea of low impact development, preservation, keeping the lakes clean," said Jensen. "That was the whole plan 100 percent. So, we're doing this as respectfully as possible to actually kind of recapture some of the neighborhood green and maybe preserve some prairie and things like that."
So, as the book on the last 120 years of Okoboji closes...a new one is in the works.
To make the natural essence of the Iowa Great Lakes gleam brighter...and greener.
"The land is so valuable, to preserve that quantity of land is huge," said Jensen. "I think it'll really be a focal point and a central piece to Okoboji as a city."
White Cap says construction on the park and five single-family homes is set to begin within the year.
No set cost has been indicated for the project, but representatives say it will rise "well into the millions."