The Waverly City Council is expected on Monday to take up a pair of resolutions that will shift two properties on the west end of town from the city’s unified urban renewal plan into a new one specific to them.
The former Red Fox Inn site and a parcel identified in legal documents as the Meier-Hanson Property to the south will be included in the new West Waverly Urban Renewal Plan.
With the shift, the area will also carry a blight designation, which would allow the city to obtain grants for mitigation of that status.
According to a memo submitted by Economic Development Director and City Attorney Bill Werger, the changes will allow the city as well as 1859 Ventures LLC, the developer which agreed to redo the former hotel into a mixed-use facility, the flexibility to work through the housing and commercial aspects of the proposed project.
As part of the resolutions, the city is expected to set a meeting with the Bremer County Board of Supervisors and the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District on Oct. 27 for consultation over the Tax Increment Financing district changes with the shift, because all three entities have property tax stakes in TIFs.
There will also be a public hearing on the changes set for the Nov. 16 City Council meeting.
Monday’s meeting will be held via a Zoom teleconference, which the council has been doing so since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa in mid-March. Residents are encouraged to contact their council member, Mayor Adam Hoffman or other city officials for input on the proposal.
In the memo to the council, Werger wrote that the Red Fox’s redevelopment “will be challenging” for 1859 Ventures, and that other groups that considered bidding for the project had suggested that having city incentives would be crucial to its success.
All proposals, including from the two finalists — 1859 and Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community — included housing, and urban renewal plans do not permit grants for market-rate housing. After consulting with urban renewal legal counsel, shifting the Red Fox and the adjacent Meier-Hanson property to a blight district would allow for mixed-use grants, which include housing, according to the memo.
With the removal of the Red Fox and Meier-Hanson from the Unified Urban Renewal District, it would be the sixth amendment to the plan that merged the original urban renewal and downtown renewal districts in 2014. The former hotel was in the second amendment to the unified district and Meier-Hanson was in the first.
The new district would also include an undeveloped section of 20th Street Southwest, which runs from 10th Avenue Southwest to the property line of the hotel.
Also on Monday’s agenda, the council will hear a presentation from the Golf Commission, consider two plat surveys in the Centennial Oaks Golf Club Addition and at 2433 Grand Ave. and act on the completion of the improvements on 20th Street Northwest, including the railroad crossings there and on Fifth Avenue Northwest.