Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 1, 2014

Apartment complex approved

Developer will decide between Washington and Oskaloosa for buildings
By David Hotle | Dec 05, 2013

On Wednesday evening, the Washington City Council moved a step closer to getting a new apartment complex inside the city limits when it unanimously approved a resolution to support a developing company considering Washington for the site of its latest venture.
The council unanimously approved a resolution of intent to provide about $350,000 of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) funding to Overland Property Group for the project over 15 years. During the Nov. 20 meeting, Overland partner Brett Johnson had given a presentation on the possibility of the Kansas-based developer building a 32-unit, two-building apartment complex in Washington. During that meeting the motion to approve the resolution had been tabled so the council could gather more information on the group.
“The developer has gone a step further and gotten construction pricing on what to expect, which pushes the total project costs to closer to $5.8 million,” city administrator Brent Hinson said.
Hinson gave the council a slightly revised version of the resolution. He said that because the firm was attempting to get state money to help fund the project, the city had to provide a 6 percent match. Oskaloosa is being approached with a similar request, and Overland will make the decision on which project to pursue prior to the Dec. 9 application deadline.
Mayor Sandra Johnson said that she agreed with a statement council member Merle Hagie made during the previous meeting that the project is exactly the kind of thing the city’s comprehensive plan recommends the city attempt to attract.
Johnson said if the plan is approved by the Iowa Finance Authority, which administers state credits, and the city is getting ready for the TIF and development agreements, the exact total of the rebate from the city will be laid out. She said that the resolution doesn’t obligate the city to that exact amount.
Council member Bob Shellmyer asked Hinson if he had talked to communities that Overland had created apartment complexes in. Hinson said that he had, but was unable to visit any of the communities. He also said he spoke with a representative of the Iowa Finance Authority, who spoke highly of Overland.
Council member Fred Stark said that he had not heard any public feedback on the program.
The council unanimously approved the resolution after less than 10 minutes of discussion.
During the November meeting, Johnson showed a video of several properties the Overland group owns, including properties in Pella and Storm Lake.  A layout of the proposed Washington site can be found online at <http://vimeo.com/78373407.>


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