City Council approves the sale of land for an apartment complex of over 150 units | New Policies

Waterloo City Hall and Police Department


WATERLOO — A large parcel of land has been sold by the city for just $1, but officials are hoping for a substantial residential windfall from the deal.

On Monday evening, city council voted unanimously to approve the sale of the land, located north of 501 Lakeside Street in northeast Waterloo, to Union Developmental Holdings LLC. The developers hope the sale will qualify them for state tax incentives to build on the land.

According to Noel Anderson, the city’s director of planning and community development, Union Developmental Holdings intends to construct more than five apartment buildings with between 150 and 180 multi-family residential units on approximately 10.77 acres, with the project costing between 33 and 36 million dollars. Anderson added that there are also plans to install an office complex and playground on the grounds.

The company is a subsidiary of The Annex Group, an Indianapolis-based development company that specializes in creating affordable housing. Margaret Blum, senior director of development for The Annex Group, addressed the board ahead of the vote, saying the area has great potential thanks to its proximity to UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital and several businesses.

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“We see this as a fantastic location in a mixed-use area,” Blum said. “There are significant shopping/leisure opportunities nearby, as well as regional healthcare and employment opportunities that are widely available in this area.”

Councilor Jonathan Grieder welcomed the proposal ahead of the vote, citing Waterloo’s latest housing report which showed around two in five residents pay 35% or more of their income for rent.

“I’m very encouraged to see a developer come along that is focused on helping us solve this problem, because it’s a huge problem that has multiple effects on people’s quality of life,” Grieder said. “And so I’m very happy to see this project and its goal of helping everyone in our community be able to afford housing.”

According to Mayor Quentin Hart, the city aims to create 800 homes in eight years and renovate another 800. To achieve this goal, the city has worked with developers and even Hawkeye Community College to build homes on former nuisance properties. The creation of 150 new units could help achieve a good part of the objective.

“There are a huge number of people who are unfortunately living in very poor conditions and paying a lot of money,” Hart said. “So it’s a great opportunity to have really good housing.”

According to Blum, construction should start next year and be finished by 2024.

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