IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City officials have approved a financing package for a nearly $41 million project to construct two buildings that include commercial space, apartments and hotel rooms.

The Iowa City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to support an $8 million tax increment financing package, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported . They also approved a development agreement with the Hieronymus family, Kinseth Hospitality and Hodge Construction.

The project will be constructed at Hieronymus Square, a parcel of land that's located along two of the city's busiest streets.

"We had a meeting, maybe five years ago, as a council, and I said to (former City Manager) Tom Markus and others, 'This is the most important site in Iowa City right now, and we need to make sure we get a really good development on it,' and I think we've done that," Mayor Jim Throgmorton said.

The project includes one floor of commercial space, one floor of office space, 45 housing units and a 91-room hotel.

The buildings' various types of spaces work together to produce something great, said Rockne Cole, a council member.

The financing package calls for seven housing units that are affordable for residents making 60 percent or below the area's median income.

Economic Development Coordinator Wendy Ford said two of the units are required as part of the development agreement. Developers can then build the other five units on site or pay a fee of nearly $81,000 per unit.

City Manager Geoff Fruin said that money would go to the city's affordable housing fund.


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen,