Courier file photo

OTTUMWA — Multiple proposed developments face important steps next week as the city council weighs what incentives to give the projects.

First up is the proposed hotel at Bridge View Center. Council members are being asked to consider a resolution that would amend the Westgate Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. The changes could also have an effect on the proposal to develop the north riverfront, particularly the area from south of the train station to west of Market Street.

This is far from the first time the city has considered amendments to the district, which was established in 1989. There have been seven revisions, most recently in October 2017.

The city is currently working with Chrisbro Hospitality to develop a hotel at Bridge View. While a hotel has long been contemplated for the facility, no previous plans have gotten to this stage of development. Construction is expected next year.

The company will not own the land the hotel is on, but will instead be offered a 99-year lease. City officials have stressed that the lease is only for the physical footprint of the building, not the parking lot or external areas. That’s important given the fact the city received substantial state funding for Bridge View Center, and the state has approved only the lease.

Incentives for the hotel include economic development grants of up to $4 million over the next 20 years. The city will also bear the costs of relocating a sewer line and construction of off-site parking. The total bill is capped at $5.725 million.

Development of the riverfront area envisions 65 housing units and commercial development in “a multi-phase project.” There is no partner in place for that work, though, and the city is currently accepting responses to its request for qualifications from interested developers.

A second vote on the planned redevelopment of the former Agassiz Elementary School is also on the council’s agenda. Jim Danaher has proposed renovating the building to create new apartments.

That development will include approximately 36 housing units. Danaher is seeking state incentives as well as a 15-year rebatement from the city estimated at $350,000 to $450,000 over the life of the agreement.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Matt Milner can be reached at and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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