Talk of Iowa City high-rises, art museum downtown

By Gregg Hennigan

IOWA CITY – You may remember that there was a lot of talk a couple of years ago about building up in downtown Iowa City.

As I reported today, there has been little visible action on some proposed high-rise building projects since then, primarily because of the downturn in the economy.

That may be changing. The guys from Three Bulls development company say they hope to start construction next spring on a 10-story building with commercial, office and residential space.

Developer Marc Moen has a couple of ideas for high-rises, too. One is at the site of the Wells Fargo building on the Ped Mall. Moen said the bank has a few more years on its lease, but he wants to find a new home for it.

The other site is the northeast corner of Clinton and Burlington streets. Moen said he’s considering his options there.

That includes his continued interest in the University of Iowa art museum being part of his project. That’s an idea that generated some buzz, and controversy, a couple of years ago before fading away. But Moen said with the UI looking for a new home for the museum after it was damaged in last year’s flood, he thought it was a possibility.

That’s his opinion, though, and he said he needs to talk with UI officials about it. If the university is interested, Moen said he’d hold off on developing the corner. If they’re not, he could move forward sooner.

The UI also is considering relocating Hancher Auditorium, which also was damaged in the flood, to the downtown area. Moen said that would provide a big boost to the area and aid the prospects of the high-rise projects, all of which are proposed for just a block from the possible Hancher site.

“That would be huge, just fantastic,” he said.

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2 Responses to Talk of Iowa City high-rises, art museum downtown

  1. […] the original: Talk of Iowa City high-rises, art museum downtown « Johnson County … Connect and […]

  2. Steve Hanken says:

    The character or what was Iowa City is turning into a bunch of ten story housing projects that are butt ugly.Squeezing in even more people and venues into the downtown will be as exciting as the traffic jams on Iowa Football weekends, without the available parking or extra lanes. I get real tired of hearing about people who are “Excited” when they do this sort of crap, and it isn’t about the people who aren’t making money on this deal. Purely the excitment they feel is the flow of money moving into their pockets.

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