The Iowa City Council Economic Development Committee likes a staff recommendation to put $400,000 in tax increment financing toward converting the building of a former bar into retail and office space.
The committee’s three members, who also are City Council members, met Monday morning to discuss the request from Field House Investments, which wants to rehabilitate the building at 111 E. College St. that used to house the Fieldhouse bar.
The project is expected to cost $2.55 million, and the investment group asked for $800,728 in TIF money, according to city documents. Staffers recommended providing $400,000 to rehabilitate the space that has been vacant since July, and the City Council’s Economic Development Committee decided Monday morning to forward that recommendation on to the City Council.
Wendy Ford, Iowa City economic development coordinator, said project developers now have to come up with more specifics about the project before presenting it to the City Council.
Committee members Susan Mims told The Gazette on Friday that she liked the concept because it’s what the city has been trying to encourage in the downtown district. The city, she said, wants to take the emphasis off the bar scene and attract more high-end office space, stores and housing.