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City picks firm for Linn/Court

BY BILL COONEY | MARCH 24, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa City City Council decided on its preferred developer for a new mixed-use building to be located on the site of the old St. Patrick’s Church parish hall, with CA Ventures coming out on top.

CA Ventures will now likely construct the RISE at Riverfront Crossing building at an estimated cost of $102.5 million.

The old building was destroyed by a tornado in 2006 and purchased by the city for approximately $3 million in 2008. It is being used as a parking lot.

The city received numerous offers for the property and narrowed the field to two potential developers in December 2014.

RISE will be a two-tower complex, containing one 15-floor residential tower and one 14-story hotel tower. The RISE design beat out HUB at Iowa City by CORE development, which was estimated to cost $95.5 million.

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Mims and Councilor Kingsley Botchway were a part of the internal review committee that met to decide which developer was the best choice for the project.

Mims said one of the main factors in the decision was price.

“After talking to the city staff, it was decided that CA Ventures price was more reasonable for a high-rise building,” she said. “CORE’s budget left a few questions that needed to be answered.”

“The affordable-housing aspect played a huge part in my decision,” Botchway said. “RISE offers one- or two-bedroom affordable housing units, while HUB was only offering efficiency units as affordable housing.”

He said RISE offers a great opportunity for those new to Iowa City.

“This is a great opportunity for more affordable housing in the downtown area,” Botchway said. “It will allow individuals in Iowa City to move closer to downtown if their job demands it; it will also provide an affordable option for recent graduates and those who are just moving into the city.”

Mims said she believes the new building will benefit Iowa City, especially the Riverfront Crossing area.

“A project like this is a catalyst project,” Mims said. “This will draw a lot of people into the Riverfront Crossing area, not just for the housing, but the businesses, office space, and hotel that will be going in as well.”

Botchway also believed the hotel would benefit Iowa City.

“The hotel aspect of this project is great because that provides additional tax revenue on top of the residential taxes from the same building,” Botchway said. “In a few years, when property-tax rates begin to decrease, this will be an important source of revenue for the city.”

Now that the council has approved the project, the developer must meet with the city to make a development agreement.

Once the agreement is made, construction can begin, Botchway said.


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