UI to seek $4.6 million purchase of bank in School of Music rebuilding


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Officials at the University of Iowa are seeking approval from the state Board of Regents for a $4.6 million land purchase as part of the project to replace the Voxman Music Building and Clapp Recital Hall.

MidwestOne Bank, 325 S. Clinton St., occupies the site on which officials hope to construct a new recital hall.

The regents have already approved the purchase of the Bank of the West, 301 N. Clinton, for $3.1 million, with an additional $350,000 in relocation costs.

The purchase of MidwestOne is the next step in relocating the School of Music, which was displaced in the summer 2008 floods.

The potential purchase price was agreed upon about a month ago after nearly a year of negotiation, said Charlie Funk, the president and CEO MidwestOne Bank.

“We’re ready to move forward with the university on this,” he said. “We’ve been working hard for a number of months, and it’s nice to see things moving.”

The proposed deal would also allow the bank to purchase space in the Iowa City School District Administration Building, 509 S. Dubuque St., for $80 per square foot.

UI officials said they wanted to give the two banks ample time to relocate before purchasing the properties.

Funk said the bank planned to relocate its mortgage center and drive-through branch to the administration building.

Regents approved the UI’s purchase of the administration building at their August 2010 meeting.
Regent Robert Downer said last year he had great confidence in the plan, which he approved of because of the building’s location and availability.

Funk said the bank branch cannot be moved until current tenants vacate the space — something he thinks could take time.

Kristin Thelander, the director of planning for the music school, said she’s excited to see things progressing.

“We’ve waited a long time to feel like we had the green light, and now, things are happening,” she said.

UI spokesman Tom Moore said UI officials will continue to anticipate concerns that may arise following the potential purchase and determine the next steps to take.

“Right now, we’re not thinking about starting any building,” Thelander said. “The whole music faculty is just enthusiastic about going forward.”

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