TIF discussed for proposed high-rise


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Following the selection of three finalists to be considered for the development of the old St. Patrick’s Hall site, tax incentives such as TIF could influence the development.

The top three proposals are CA Ventures, Core Campus of Chicago or HUB at Iowa City, and Sherman Associates of Minneapolis, which proposes the project under the name Linn and Court.

Iowa City officials announced the selection of the three finalists Oct. 2 and said the decision was based on the projects’ compliance with the Riverfront Crossings master plan.

Jeff Davidson, the city director of economic development, said the selection committee wanted a large-scale project, such as a tall building with significant use potential.

“A piece of ground this large will have a huge impact,” Davidson said. “A project of this size doesn’t affect one area, it affects the whole community.”

The estimated price ranges from $67 million to $88 million, which would cover the acquisition of the land from the city, along with subsequent construction and development.

According to the plan, the district is bordered by Riverside Drive to the west, Gilbert Street to the east, Burlington Street to the north, and Highway 6 to the south.

The plan is a result of public input from meetings, workshops, interviews, and focus groups. It aims to preserve and build on the strengths of downtown Iowa City while generating urban neighborhoods near the district.

Davidson said the city is encouraging the new development with tax incentives such as TIF and property-tax abatement.

TIF, or tax-increment financing, is public financing that freezes a property-tax base in an area. A property-tax abatement is a reduction in the level of taxation an individual or company must pay.

Ultimately, Davidson said, other proposals for the site were turned down mainly because they weren’t deemed suitable because there wasn’t enough taxable value.

City Councilor Susan Mims said all three of the finalists have significant tax value; they offer residential, office, and commercial space.

“We are hoping, overall, that it will be much more diverse than only student housing,” she said.

With the University of Iowa’s recent prediction of increasing future enrollment rates, the new building may include a student housing component.

However, Davidson said he doesn’t want the area to become a “student ghetto” and hopes it can bring students and community members together.

“It will offer students housing and housing for people who love the vitality of living among a student-heavy population,” he said.

Other aspects of the proposals include giving space to a hotel, convenience stores, and offices in one building.

JJ Smith, the chief operating officer of CA Ventures, said the inclusion of a hotel in the property would bring provide larger tax generation as opposed to an apartment building.

Smith said CA Ventures hopes to bring “an iconic multiuse development complex” to fill the space if they are chosen as the final project.

The project would include a hotel, student apartments, tech-friendly office space, ground floor retail place, restaurants, and a public park.

“This multiuse approach brings a vibrancy of 24/7 atmosphere while also serving as an economic boom for the city,” he said.

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.