Iowa City City Council defers Riverfront Crossing rezoning again

The Riverfront Crossing development rezoning proposal was deferred until October 25, 2019.


Hayden Froehlich

City council listens to a speech about native inhabitant awareness and inclusion efforts during a city council meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

Chloe O'Connor, News Reporter

Consideration by the Iowa City City Council to rezone the proposed Riverfront Crossings was deferred until Oct. 15 at the council’s meeting Tuesday. 

The Riverfront Crossings development is a proposed four- to eight-story apartment complex located at 625 S. Gilbert St., 1,200 feet from the University of Iowa campus.

Capstone Collegiate Communities LLC filed the rezoning, and this complex will be Capstone’s first property in Iowa.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the property will cater to UI students. Along with the complex, Capstone proposed improvements to Ralston Creek, as well as the addition of a pedestrian trail along South Gilbert Street.

“We develop and manage student housing all across the country,” Capstone spokesperson Davis Maxwell said. “We have looked at this site and in the immediate surrounding area … has a 100 percent occupancy rate.”

RELATED: Proposed Riverfront Crossings development awaits Iowa City City Council approval

Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton expressed concern about vacant apartments in the city and how these vacancies could ultimately drain the city of its money and leave fewer resources with which to support Iowa City citizens.

“The last thing I want to see is a very large, half-empty new apartment building,” Throgmorton said. “I am repeatedly asked ‘Why are we building all these new apartment buildings when vacancies are so high and so many storefronts are empty?’ So what persuades the developer that an eight-story apartment building is a wise market decision at this time?”

Maxwell reported that the vacancy rate in Iowa City’s apartments is less than 5 percent. Therefore, another apartment complex would not drastically drive up vacancy rates, he said.

UI graduate student Rachel Schaefer raised concerns that the apartment units will elicit inflated rental charges due to unnecessary utilities.

“Places like these aren’t even on my radar when I’m considering housing,” Schaefer said. “Places at this price point aren’t useful to most students.”