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Chauncey may be cut back

BY TING XUAN TAN | JULY 14, 2014 5:00 AM

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The scheme of the Iowa City Downtown District might not change as drastically as some had thought.

The Chauncey, a high-rise building that will be built at the intersection of Gilbert and College Streets, could be cut from the originally proposed 20 stories to 15 stories.

City Councilor Rick Dobyns said that they have been interested in decreasing the size of the building for many months.

“We didn’t make [the idea to decrease the number of floors] public till now because we wanted to have private discussions with the developer over this issue,” he said.

If this significant reduction in size passes, he said, there probably will not be another change in the number of floors.

In 2012, city officials asked developers to send in proposals to develop the area. Moen Group won the bid with a proposal of a 20-story building with a 12-lane bowling alley, two theaters for FilmScene, class-A office space, hotel rooms, and residential units.

The Iowa City City Council will decide whether the building will have 15 floors in its meeting on Tuesday.

Some concerned citizens, such as members of the Coalition Against the Shadow, worried the building would block sunlight from the nearby College Green Park. In regard to the shade problem, the developers have done sun and shade studies.

“In the summer, there is very little shade on the park from the Chauncey,” Marc Moen, lead developer, wrote in an email.

Moen said the mass of the building will be the first four levels and the towers above that will sit back from the base.

The City Council has gone through with this development is because the councilors hope to make good use of the property and increase its taxable value.

When the project is completed, the city will have fulfilled its promise to the under-21 crowd.

“Also, when we passed the 21-ordinance, we said that we would look for activities and amenities for the students for downtown that are not just alcohol-related, and I think that the theater space and the bowling alley will both do that,” said City Councilor Susan Mims.


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