116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - A lease agreement has been approved that will allow for an entrepreneur support center in a portion of the Iowa City Public Library.
The Iowa City Council on Tuesday approved a four-year lease for the 136 S. Dubuque St. space - formerly home to the Wedge downtown pizzeria - with Iowa City Area Development Group.
ICAD will pay the city $24,000 a year for the first two years and $30,000 a year for the final two years of the lease. ICAD, which is partnering with the city and University of Iowa for the project, will be responsible for all property taxes on the space.
Earlier this year, Iowa City manager Tom Markus approved a short-term lease to ICAD for the project, which runs from Oct. 1 through the end of this year.
The partnership, called MERGE, would support local entrepreneurs by eventually bringing together a cross section of coders, developers, engineers, 3-D designers, program writers and entrepreneurs, said David Conrad, assistant vice president for economic development with the UI Office for Research and Economic Development.
The ground floor space once housed the Wedge, while the basement is leased by UI Hospitals and Clinics, but those facilities will relocate to Coralville soon.
MERGE will become the new home for the roughly 3-year-old Co-Lab, which has become cramped in its home at 316 E. Court St. Supported largely on memberships, the Co-Lab needs more space, officials said.