Board of Regents approve UI request to make $2.2 million property purchase

At their meeting on Thursday, the state Board of Regents approved a University of Iowa request to purchase nearly 22 acres of North Liberty land for approximately $2.31 per square foot.


Lily Smith

Regents President Mike Richards listens during the state Board of Regents meeting at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Friday, November 15, 2018.

Katie Ann McCarver, News Editor

CEDAR FALLS — At their meeting at the University of Northern Iowa on Thursday, the state Board of Regents approved a University of Iowa request to purchase a swath of undeveloped property in North Liberty.

The UI will buy nearly 22 acres of vacant farmland from the Parkview Evangelical Free Church for $2.2 million, a purchase which will be funded by the Treasurer’s Temporary Investment Income, according to regents’ documents.

The property is adjacent to a stretch of 38 acres already owned by the UI and will provide a secondary access to that land in addition to allowing for future programming, the documents said.

The UI commissioned a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of the property, which confirmed that it poses no environmental threat, according to the regents’ documents. The UI also commissioned two appraisals, both which valued the new property at $2.31 per square foot.

UI Campus and Planning Development Business Manager David Kieft said in his proposal to the regents at their meeting in Cedar Falls Wednesday that the 38 acres the university already owns were purchased in 2010 at $7.08 per square foot.

“Here we are nine years later, and we have the opportunity to buy the adjoining property for $2.31, so it’s certainly a good benefit to the university,” Kieft said.

Medical providers in the area other than UI Hospitals and Clinics have acquired land for an even higher estimate of $10 per square foot, Kieft said. The UI hopes to come back to the Board sometime in 2020 for permission to proceed with more detailed plans for use of the overall site, he added.

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“Taking advantage of this price will allow the site to be better planned and developed into the future,” Kieft said.

The university declined to comment on how the current farmland will be repurposed in more depth, until more concrete plans for the property are detailed, presented to and approved by the regents.