Iowa City has picked a familiar face to construct a $53.8 million high-rise building on the edge of downtown.
The City Council Tuesday night voted to enter into negotiations with Marc Moen to bring his The Chauncey project to city-owned land at the northeast corner of College and Gilbert streets.
Moen is proposing a 20-story building with two movie theaters, a bowling alley and cafe on the first floor, two floors of office space, a 35-room hotel and 12 floors of residential units. His project won out over two other finalists.
“I love the possibility of this building. … It brings us some new things,” council member Connie Champion said.
Five of six council members picked Moen’s team as the preferred developer for the site, and city staff will now negotiate a development agreement. The council indicated its second choice, should those negotiations fail, was a project known as Chauncey Gardens, a $48 million, 18-story building. The third project under consideration was a $33 million, nine-story building from 4 Zero 4 Development.
Mayor Matt Hayek said he expected to hear criticism about the city working with Moen again. But each project should be considered on its own merits, he said.
“That political factor is something I was able to compartmentalize,” he said.
Moen’s request for financial assistance from the city likely will draw criticism, too. All of the finalists asked for millions of dollars in tax increment financing, but The Chauncey is seeking the most at $13.45 million.
What do you think? Does The Chauncey warrant $13.45 million in public tax incentives?