Iowa City City Council approves bonds for Chauncey Building

Development can move forward with ground breaking

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IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Council has approved loan agreements for $12.8 million to further the Chauncey building project.

The Chauncey is a 15-story residential and commercial building planned for the northeast corner of College and Gilbert streets. After extensive legal battles, the council’s authorization Tuesday of the loan agreement is one of the final steps before construction can begin.

The council voted 5-0 to authorize the more than $12 million in tax increment revenue bonds with Midwest One Bank and First National Bank to help spur development of the building. The city then will pay back the loans in tax increment revenue over the next 20 years.

The development originally was estimated to cost about $49 million. Developer Marc Moen said he is working through updated costs after a lengthy delay — the council put out a request for proposals for the land about four years ago.

“With the delays come increased costs, and we are in the process of working through those with the design professionals, general contractor and key subcontractors,” Moen said in an email.

Moen said the Chauncey now has all the approvals it needs, and he plans to break ground in November. He said he estimates the residential portion of the building to be complete in February 2019.

The council voted last June to approve $14.2 million in tax increment revenue bonds — about $2 million more than developers will get. City Finance Director Dennis Bockenstedt said the city set a “not to exceed” number just in case the loans needed to be more than anticipated so the issue wouldn’t have to come up for council vote again.

Mayor Jim Throgmorton and council member Rockne Cole recused themselves from the vote. Cole, who is an attorney, was part of the Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow legal battle to challenge the city’s rezoning of the Chauncey property.

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