Iowa City Council OKs $12M Financing for Downtown Project

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa City Council has approved more than $12 million in tax increment financing for a downtown development designed to revitalize and preserve the character of the city’s Pedestrian Mall.

The council unanimously approved the financing Tuesday, the Gazette of Cedar Rapids reported. The $54.4 million project involves designating buildings as historic landmarks in order to renovate and preserve them.

The project is intended to revitalize the stretch of East College Street and allow smaller businesses to move into the space. A 102-unit, nine-story multifamily building also is planned south of the existing buildings.

Rather than provide affordable housing units in the new building, Mankato, Minn.-based Tailwind Group intends to meet the public funding requirements by contributing more than $1.8 million to the city’s affordable housing fund.

City Manager Geoff Fruin said the $1.8 million fee in lieu of providing affordable housing must be paid at the time a building permit is issued, rather than being paid out over a longer period.

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