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Iowa City Council terminates The Wedge’s downtown lease
IOWA CITY — After six years of serving up pizza by the slice, the Wedge Downtown has closed its doors.
The Iowa City Council approved Tuesday 6-0, with council member Rick Dobyns absent, to terminate the lease for The Wedge, after officials with the pizzeria approached the city earlier this year to request a termination of the lease, which is slated to run through April 2016.
While little information has come to light as to why officials with The Wedge have asked to be released from the lease, Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek said he felt it was best to terminate the lease.
'The request was to us to let the tenant out of the lease about a year and a half early,' Hayek said. 'What it comes down to is this is a great place downtown, it was not working out financially, they asked out of the lease and we agreed to do it. This is unfortunate but it is what it is.'
The Wedge Downtown is in the second year of a three-year lease with a rent at $6,267 per month for the 4,580-square-foot space.
The restaurant is in commercial space that is part of the Iowa City Public Library building that has been rented out since 2006.
The city gave The Wedge a $40,000 low-interest Community Development Block Grant in 2008 to help open the downtown location. The remaining approximately $4,000 of that loan was paid off last week.
City staff estimate the city will lose about $8,300 per month in rent and property taxes while the space remains vacant.
Steve Harding, owner of The Wedge, which also operates a pizzeria on South Riverside Drive, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
While a future tenant has not been identified yet, council member Kingsley Botchway expressed a desire to see a business operate the space in similar capacity to The Wedge, in particular the friendly and accessible atmosphere.