Government

15-story complex gets another consideration by Iowa City Council following new conditions

Number of conditions agreed upon since last council deferral

Four towers of student-oriented housing are proposed to replace the Pentacrest Garden Apartment complex at 12 E. Court St. in Iowa City. (Illustration provided by City of Iowa City)
Four towers of student-oriented housing are proposed to replace the Pentacrest Garden Apartment complex at 12 E. Court St. in Iowa City. (Illustration provided by City of Iowa City)

IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on the first rezoning of what could be the largest rental housing development in city history after new conditions were outlined following the previous council meeting.

The Clark family of Apartments Downtown and Apartments at Iowa, among other companies, is proposing to redevelop 12 E. Court St. into four 15-story student-oriented apartment buildings. The council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Iowa City Hall.

The developers are requesting to rezone the nearly 3.5-acre property from its current high-density multifamily zone to a Riverfront Crossings District zone, which would allow for more height. The council vote has been deferred multiple times throughout the summer, most recently to allow city staff to work with the developer on updated conditions for the project.

If approved, the new rezoning would allow up to eight stories, with an additional seven bonus stories if the project contains features that “provide public benefit or furthers goals and objectives” of the city’s master plan, according to a staff memo sent to council.

The proposed conditions include the structures must “substantially conform” to the building footprints shown in the Downtown and Riverfront Crossings Master Plan or else changes much be approved by council. The property must also have a landscaped, interior courtyard between the two eastern buildings near the Voxman Music Building.

The city is also requiring the project’s architects to have experience with “high-quality urban design” and “large-scale student housing and/or residence halls.”

Any requested additional building height must also conform with the district’s Riverfront Crossings form-based code, which requires an excellence in design, high-quality materials and “contributes to the quality and character of the neighborhood,” according to a memo from City Manager Geoff Fruin.

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Improvements to the portion of Capitol Street currently on the property, and dedication of the right of way back to the city, are also planned as part of the project. The developer requested a more flexible timeline to accommodate construction as part of the conditions.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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