New commercial, residential development coming to N. Dodge St., N. Scott Blvd

The Iowa City City Council unanimously approved rezoning that will allow several commercial and residential developments to be made in the area.


Matt Sindt

Iowa City Councilors listen to speakers during an Iowa City Council special formal meeting in the Emma J. Harvat Hall in City Hall on Jan. 10, 2023.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

Some Iowa City residents could see new commercial developments, including a new restaurant, several mixed-use and residential buildings, and a drive-through coffee shop and ATM, on the east side of the city.

The Iowa City City Council unanimously approved a rezoning ordinance of land on Tuesday near the intersection of North Dodge Street and North Scott Boulevard to allow the development to be built. 

According to the Tuesday meeting agenda, the development will be consistent with the goals outlined in the city’s Comprehensive Plan by diversifying housing types, increasing affordable housing, filling up unused open space — also known as an infill — and promoting neighborhood cohesion by creating a commercial zone that is accessible via walking or biking.

The development will consist of a restaurant, a commercial building with eight residential dwellings above it, nine townhouses, and two drive-throughs with the intention of being used for a coffee shop and an ATM, respectively. The development will also include a right-hand turning lane on Scott Boulevard to help organize traffic flow in the area.

Before the meeting, the city received concerns from the public about how this development would impact the nearby fire station and the coming and going of fire trucks. 

At the meeting, Danielle Sitzman, the City of Iowa City’s development services coordinator, said there are no anticipated problems regarding the fire station that will arise from this development.

Councilor Pauline Taylor said at the meeting that she is happy to see the unused space in the area put to good use.

“We’ve heard about infill or lack of infill in Iowa City for such a long time, and I see this rapid creative use of that infill space that will be productive and be meaningful to the community,” Taylor said.

The addition of a restaurant and coffee shop would be a welcome addition for people who work in the area, Mayor Pro Tem Megan Alter said.

“I think that this is a great idea for this location and the school district as well,” Alter said. “There’s a lot of workers in the area, and this would be a really welcome place to be able to do something like a sandwich shop, coffee, stuff like that.”

The first consideration of this ordinance was approved Tuesday night. The council will vote on this ordinance again two more times at the next two consecutive meetings before the ordinance is officially passed.