Four developers presented ideas for Linn and Court space


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Four competitors pitched their ideas to city officials on Monday in hopes their project will be picked for the Linn/Court redevelopment.

The Iowa City City Council heard from CA Ventures, HUB at Iowa City, CG Hanson’s Linn Court Lofts, and Sherman Associates at a special work session. The councilors will select a developer at a work session on Dec. 2.

“Overall, I thought there were some surprises,” Councilor Terry Dickens said. “My idea was looking at something a little different for the area.”

Dickens said the biggest issue in making a decision is going to be deciding the type of building the city wants to put there, one aimed at either student housing, resident housing, or senior housing.

“It’s going to be a tougher decision than I expected,” Dickens said.

The redevelopment is for the site that was previously the St. Patricks’ Parish Hall; it is held by the city. The plan for the spot is a mixed-use building, according to the Riverfront Crossings District’s master plan.

Core Campus’ HUB at Iowa City

Core Campus’ proposal includes details to create student housing with resort-level amenities in addition to Class-A business space and a hotel.

The company has developed numerous buildings of similar stature in major university towns, which Tom Harrington, director of acquisitions for Core Campus, referred to as a strength.

The group focused on student housing during its presentation; its total project estimates at $93 million.

“We believe Core Campus is uniquely qualified to complete this project,” Harrington said.

CA Ventures’ RISE at Riverfront Crossings

CA Ventures, the other student-focused project, would feature one thing unique to all of the proposals — a grocery store. The company said it has been in discussion with a previous partner in Eugene, Oregon, as well as New Pioneer Co-Op.

One city councilor was impressed with the presentation CA Ventures gave.

“I was happy to see that CA Ventures provided a lot more detail about its architectural design,” Councilor Jim Throgmorton said.

The project includes two buildings, one hotel, and one residential that include office space.  It also includes 302 furnished residential units, with the hotel containing 144 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of office space.

CA Ventures’ own tax analysis in its presentation showed it would have the highest estimated total tax per year at $2.2 million.

CG Hanson Linn Court Lofts

CG Hanson is the only company that is principally located in Iowa City. It focused its presentation on keeping things local in Iowa City, from development to construction.

Charles Graves, the president of CG Hanson, said the project has the potential to add a Target Express as a ground-level retail option and a potential to expand up to 300 residential units.

“We think this is critical to anchor the Riverfront Crossings District,” Graves said.

CG Hanson’s presentation focused on providing green space and senior housing because of increased need in Johnson County, and providing 20 percent of units as affordable housing, Graves said.

Sherman Associates

Sherman Associates’ owner George Sherman said the biggest strength for its building is that it isn’t student-focused.

“The question is whether the city wants to make a statement in this neighborhood,” he said.

Sherman Associates has previously developed in Iowa City, most recently with the Vine Lofts.

Its proposal includes 91 units of residential, 124 units of a Marriott Courtyard Hotel, 23,000 square feet of commercial space with a total cost of $67 million.

He said this proposal is more focused on keeping residents for two to 10 years and would potentially ask for $8 million to $10 million in tax-increment financing.

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