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Park@201 turn over to businesses in March

BY ABIGAIL MEIER | FEBRUARY 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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The onslaught of winter weather has put the Park@201 project behind, while unexpected expenses have put it over its budget.

The 14-story high rise will include a two-floor Buzz Salon, three floors of office space, and 26 residential units from floors five to 14, with every unit in the building sold or leased. The units that are being rented start at about $1,500 per month.

Developer Marc Moen said the retail space will be turned over to the businesses by March 3.

Moen and Bobby Jett, another developer of the Park@201 Project, said there have been a wide variety of opinions about what residents want downtown to look like. Moen said their goal was to create an addition to downtown that would attract people to invest in retail, office, and residential space.

“From the reactions we have heard, the majority of downtown business owners see it as a very positive addition to our downtown,” Moen said. “The building is sold out, so it has certainly proven to be very popular for business owners and office users who want to locate downtown.”

Moen said that while some residents prefer to have only a few stories and some are fond of contemporary architecture, overall, the reactions have been positive. He said the project was budgeted for approximately $10.7 million, but the developers spent about $1 million more than what was in agreement with the city.

“Our goal with every project is to deliver more than promised and exceed expectations,” Moen said. “I am very proud of what we achieved, and I am OK with the cost.”

Jett said the last three floors of office space was bought by Meta Communications, a marketing, brand-managing, and creative-design company.

“This is a real victory for the city of Iowa City, because this is exactly the type of tenants they have been trying to bring downtown,” Jett said. “Initially, there was some skepticism about the size of the building on the Ped Mall.”

Thomas Connolly, the owner of the Tobacco Bowl, 111 S. Dubuque St, said he is pleased with the business vibe the facility will bring to downtown.

“It’s great and brings a different kind of professionalism to the urban environment of downtown Iowa City,” Connolly said. “I think the architecture leaks modern minimalism; it’s both beautiful and unobtrusive.”

Connolly said it has been a messy process; however, he believes the construction has been handled well for the small amount of space that was available.

Nancy Bird, the executive director of Iowa City Downtown District, said Park@201 project is creating a mix of residential and commercial space.

“Well, I think whenever we can provide more access to our market it’s a great thing,” Bird said. “One of the goals that I have is to see more residential components downtown, and we want to see a mix and increase our downtown living, and this is a great way to activate the space.”


Correction:

In the article, “Park@201 over budget and delayed,” The Daily Iowan incorrectly reported the project to be over budget and delayed. The developers spend $1 million more than what was established with an agreement with the city. Office space was not to be delivered in December. In addition, the article said the top floors of the building are available; however the top floors of the building have been sold or leased. The units that are being rented start about $1,500 a month. The DI regrets the error.


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