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City Council in Mason City approves state tax grant application for proposed “The River II” market rate housing development

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved a resolution of support for a Workforce Housing Tax Credit application by the company that constructed “The River” housing development as they are ready to build another development in the downtown area.

Talon Development opened “The River” in the former overflow parking lot south of Southbridge Mall earlier this year with 130 high-quality, market rate apartments. Talon is now wanting to construct a 102 unit complex north and west of their first facility upstream on Willow Creek in the brownfield area west of the intersection of 2nd and South Washington.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett says Talon is looking to start construction in 2022, but a lot of work has to be done with that area being a brownfield site.  “There is a lot of work that has to go into bringing this to fruition. There’s environmental remediation that has to happen on that property. It’s currently on the edge of the floodplain, so there’s part that’s out but a part that would not be out, so that would have to go through a letter of map amendment with that environmental remediation. With all the difficulties of that site, for the foreseeable future this land would be completely unusable by anybody because the cost of developing would be so extraordinary.”

The first project was provided a tax abatement incentive of 10 years and 100%, which will be offered for this project as well, but Burnett says due to the significantly higher costs of materials and the redevelopment of the brownfield site, a tax credit from the State of Iowa is needed to keep rents at the market rate like the first development.  “It will be a great development with 102 units. A similar development as far as sizing and I think market rate that they are looking to get in that area, but it definitely needs the tax credits to move it forward.”

Burnett says if Talon is not awarded a state tax credit for this proposal, he says the company is committed to constructing elsewhere in the community.  “I think they are fully committed to developing in Mason City, so if we’re not able to make this one happen, I think they would continue to look for places to develop, but this is a great location if they are able to make it happen.”

The council last night also approved setting a public hearing date for their next meeting on August 3rd on applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant on behalf of Foxtrot Properties LLC to assist in the development of the upper level area of a building at 13 and 15 South Federal into four market rate apartments.


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