University of Iowa Finalizes Property Purchase for School of Music

Article by B.A. Morelli, posted in the Press Citizen, January 27, 2011:

University of Iowa has finally put together the puzzle pieces in its music school and recital hall relocation project.

After a year of negotiations, UI is ready to close on the last piece of property needed for the relocation project: MidWestOne Bank, 325 S. Clinton St., which the school plans to purchase for $4.6 million, plus relocation and other costs, according to the docket released today for Thursday’s Iowa state Board of Regents board meeting.

Months ago, UI purchased the Iowa City School District Central Administration Building for $4.5 million saying it was connected to the music school project, but UI officials never made it clear how it fit. Also, on the docket for the meeting, UI plans to enter into a real estate option contract to allow MidWestOne to buy the school district building, 509 S. Dubuque St., for $80 a square foot. The actual price was not disclosed in the docket.

In December, regents signed off on a $3.1 million purchase of Bank of the West, which is adjacent to MidWestOne. At Thursday’s meeting, UI will seek permission to demolish those buildings in preparation for the music school project.

The music school is slated to have 4.5 floors in a yet-to-be-built 12-story residential-commercial mix high rise at the southeast corner of Clinton and Burlington Streets. A skywalk will connect the building to a recital hall complex at the southwest corner of the intersection where the banks are currently located.

The project is estimated to cost $125 million with a portion of the costs covered by federal flood recovery money.

The facilities that housed the School of Music and Clapp Recital Hall were closed by the 2008 flood.

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