Iowa City City Council approves Pentacrest Garden rezoning

The Iowa City City Council gave final approval to the Pentacrest Garden Apartments rezoning after delaying the series of votes for months.


Thomas A. Stewart

Pentacrest Gardens as seen on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.

Maria Kuiper, News Reporter

The Iowa City City Council voted 6-0 to approve a project that would rezone the property currently occupied by the Pentacrest Garden apartment complex on Tuesday night.

The apartment complex is set to become the largest rental-housing development in the history of Iowa City.

The property went from a high-density multifamily zone to the Riverfront Crossings zone, a rezoning project that has also been the topic of heavy debate in the City Council for the past year.

The classification allows for up to eight stories with the potential for seven more stories if the project boasts certain features that align well with the city’s master plan.

Under this rezoning, Pentacrest Garden Apartments would cater to student housing and families, with four buildings rising up to 15 stories high at 12 E. Court St.

“… I see a desire for high-quality urban design that will enable students to mature safely and to thrive academically in whatever buildings are constructed,” Mayor Jim Throgmorton said in a July memo to the council.

The council previously had postponed the vote for the apartments for several months. Throgmorton said in July that developers had requested a deferral for another month. The council’s first approval of the project did not come until Aug. 21.

Councilors Pauline Taylor and Mazahir Salih had some concerns and some ideas for the contractor of the complex.

Taylor wanted the contractor to find a sustainable way of building to coexist with the community’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Salih also voiced concerns over the number of potential affordable housing units. She iterated her previous concerns about for whom the apartments would actually be affordable.

A schedule for the complex is not known at this time.

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