The Ankeny City Council has approved an agreement with Wild Rose Entertainment LLC that allows the company to pursue a license with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to construct a $150 million casino/hotel complex in Ankeny.
At a special meeting held Monday night, the council voted 4-1 to approve a memorandum of understanding with Wild Rose for the project, which proposes a 300,000-square-foot complex that would be located on a 14-acre parcel at a new Interstate 35 interchange nearing completion at 36th Street on the city's northeast side.
The initiative is a second roll of the dice by business partners Gary Kirke and Michael Richards to develop a casino in Greater Des Moines. Earlier this month they pulled their request for rezoning request for a similar project in Urbandale.
The Ankeny parcel would need to be rezoned from its current R-1 to Planned Unit Development and would require approval from both the Ankeny Plan & Zoning Commission and the City Council. The zoning designation is consistent with the city's 2010 Comprehensive Plan, city officials said in a release.
"Our citizens want Ankeny to become a regional destination city. This project does that by including a major entertainment venue, hotel and convention/conference facilities," said Ankeny Mayor Pro tem Dave Kissinger. "We believe this project helps us to achieve our growth and economic goals."
Ankeny Councilwoman Bobbi Bentz cast the dissenting vote against the five-year contract, The Des Moines Register reported, saying there had not been enough notice to citizens to get their thoughts.