The Iowa man who attempted suicide Monday after federal regulators began closing in on his brokerage was heavily involved in plans for the $50-million “TechWorks” campus in Waterloo, near the John Deere tractor plant, but developers say the project will open as scheduled.
Russell Wasendorf, Senior — the C.E.O. of Peregrine Financial Group — had planned to open a restaurant in the facility and his son served on the “TechWorks” board of directors. Steve Dust, the C.E.O. of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber of Commerce, says the “TechWorks” campus is on track to open in November of next year.
“The developer of that project has already found another operator for a restaurant,” Dust says. “There was also some information that was absolutely false that there was some involvement of (the Wasendorfs) in the energy system ownership. They have been very involved in the planning, but there is no involvement in the ownership.”
In addition to his leadership role at the chamber, Dust is president of the TechWorks project. “The entire project moves along, unabated, with a new restaurant operator that’s going to be able to well-serve the needs of the campus and the John Deere museum and all the other facets of the campus life,” Dust says.
The “TechWorks” campus covers 40 acres and sits on the western edge of Waterloo. In January, John Deere donated what’s been dubbed the “Tech 2” building that will be turned into an upscale hotel, office space and what developers originally called a “restaurant complex.”
The John Deere Waterloo Tractor and Engine Museum on the “TechWorks” campus is scheduled to open next spring. Investigators suspect Wasendorf, Senior, falsified bank records for the past two years in an attempt to cover up a Ponzi scheme.