Waukee city officials and developers announced Wednesday that Waukee’s long-anticipated entertainment and recreation district — including a 3,500-seat live-entertainment venue as its centerpiece — is on track to open to the public just over two years from now.

The 40-acre development, originally known as “the Quarter,” has been rebranded as “KeeTown Loop” and is expected to quickly become a premier entertainment district attracting regional visitors and opportunities to Waukee when it opens in the fall of 2023, officials said.

Planning for the more than $100 million development began in 2019 and construction was initially planned to begin in the spring of 2020, just as the pandemic hit. An amended development agreement filed with the city of Waukee in August 2020 had estimated completion in 2025. Now, the 40-acre development at the northwest corner of Grand Prairie Parkway and Ashworth Road, is expected to break ground this fall.

In a news release, Waukee development officials said that OPN Architects is nearing completion of the project design for the entertainment district. Additionally, Knutson Construction and Downing Inc. have been retained for construction of the main venue and surrounding buildings. A national operator has been identified for the entertainment venue, with capital funding secured.

“Quite simply, the advantages and opportunities KeeTown Loop has to offer are unmatched,” said Harry Coin, a Quad Cities developer who is a principal of the project. “This district will provide Waukee and the metro area with entertainment and recreation for families and people of all ages. It will quickly become a center of community and a regional draw which Iowans deserve.”

The live-entertainment venue will host about 150 events per year and bring 350,000 people to Waukee annually. It will be complemented by a 125-room, Marriott-branded hotel to be located in the district, along with another hotel in close proximity. Additionally, a 100-unit, mixed-use apartment complex is also planned to be constructed by spring 2023.

“As Waukee continues to grow as a community, entertainment and leisure options become key to quality of life,” said Waukee Mayor Courtney Clarke. “KeeTown Loop checks many boxes for our residents and visitors alike, and we are excited to see it emerge in the already thriving Kettlestone Development.”

Brad Deets, Waukee’s development services director, said that additional zoning modifications will need to be reviewed and approved by the city before the developer can break ground, as well as approval of a completed site plan.

Additional project announcements will be made in the coming months and will be posted on the project website, www.KeeTownLoop.com.

RELATED: Business record articles about the project from August 2020 and August 2019.