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Moen's Iowa City Park@201 high-rise set for Nov. 1 completion

BY QUENTIN MISIAG | JANUARY 23, 2013 5:00 AM

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Marc Moen started changing the shape of the Iowa City skyline more than a decade ago, and now three new prominent projects in the downtown area are quickly taking shape, the earliest of which will be completed this fall.

On schedule and on budget at a price of $10.7 million, Moen Group’s Park@201, 114 S. Dubuque St., tower is set to open Nov. 1, real-estate developer Marc Moen told The Daily Iowan on Tuesday. All foundation work has been completed and the mezzanine and second floors have been poured.

The 14-story glass high rise will feature a two-floor full-service Buzz Salon, three floors of high-end “class A” office space on the second through fourth floors, and 26 residential units from floors five through 14.

“We’re just hearing from a lot of people who are excited about the energy it will bring to the Pedestrian Plaza,” Moen said. “It attracts folks to live downtown, which is something very important to the vitality of downtown.”

As of Tuesday evening, 10 of the 26 residential units have been sold. In all, the building will include 24 single-level, one-bedroom units and two, two-story, two-bedroom penthouse spaces, each complete with its own balcony. Each floor, excluding the penthouse units, will include two 750-square-foot units and one 1,200-square-foot unit. The penthouse units will occupy 2,100 square feet.

Prices will range from $250,000 for a 750-square-foot unit to $380,000 for a 1,200-square-foot unit. The two penthouse units pricing have not been finalized, but Moen said they will be above the $380,000 mark. All three floors of office space are still available.

“One of the great things about downtown is that people are really receptive to having really cool residential spaces,” Moen said.

Jodi Connolly, owner of Buzz Salon, 115 S. Dubuque St., said timing and strong real-estate support from Moen led to the move to Park@201. The current salon occupies just 1,000 square feet with nine salon chairs, but the new space will have 800 additional square feet and 15 chairs once open by mid-November. The first floor will be dedicated to Buzz’s hair-cutting services, while the second will feature its extensive hair-coloring department.

“We’ve been renting in Iowa City for about 15 years now, and I feel that it was a good time to buy,” she said. “I’ve been talking to Marc about this for several years. With this opportunity, I was ready to go.”

Although Connolly couldn’t comment on the cost of the new Buzz, she said that by owning, she will avoid rising commercial rental prices while cashing in on current low interest rates, resulting in a more stable business bottom line. In addition to having every item for sale in store, Buzz hopes to reduce its environmental footprint.

“Everything we’re going to use will be recycled and reused,” she said. “We’re going to be sourcing as much as we can from Iowa City.”

Steps away from the frenzied construction site of Park@201 stands a vacant lot at the intersection of College and Gilbert Streets primed for a planned 20-story building.

The Chauncey development and the historic former Vito’s bar and restaurant space, 118 E. College St., are being undertaken with direction of Moen. The Chauncey will include two movie theaters operated by the nonprofit FilmScene, a 12-lane bowling alley, café, 35-unit hotel, gallery and residential units.

The Iowa City City Council selected the Chauncey as its preferred development choice during a Jan. 8 vote 5-1. The Vito’s building was purchased by Moen in 2011 with the City Council aid of $250,000 in tax increment financing with plans to turn the two-story building into a mix of office and retail space.

“Something’s not going to open until summer or fall,” Moen said about the first floor Vito’s spaces.
Three retail spaces in all will occupy the first floor, including an 85-seat cinema operated by FilmScene, projected to open in late summer or early fall.

FilmScene cofounder Andy Brodie said the company’s cinema on College Street will remain open even after its location at the Chauncey is completed.

Although saying a retailer has been signed for the larger of the two remaining retail spaces, Moen declined to comment on what exactly will occupy the space. He said the retailer is expected to open in March.

“I want the retailer to make the announcement,” he said. “We’re working on the lease for the other [first floor retail] space.”


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