New construction may change Northside landscape in Iowa City

Image via Ross Nusser

Iowa City’s Northside neighborhood might see a new, taller addition to the landscape if the Iowa City Council goes forward with a zoning change that would eliminate current parking requirements and other restrictions for the lot.

Last week, the council approved the first consideration of an ordinance to rezone the Central State Bank on the corner of Linn and Market streets. The change would open the door to new construction to replace the short, white building.

The proposal for the spot at 202 N Linn St would hew to the existing neighborhood aesthetic — a red brick building built close to the sidewalk with storefront windows. A concept drawing presented a mixed-use residential and commercial building with large, open ground floor windows. “It will open conversation,” said Ross Nusser, the applicant for the potential new development.

“We want to make this corner into one of the cornerstones of the Northside area,” he said.

Image via Ross Nusser

The zoning shift would allow greater density of residential units in the new building, permit a 75-foot-tall building, rather than one that is capped at 45 feet, and decrease the number of required parking spaces.

Although Nusser’s building plans do include six to seven residential parking spaces, concerns were raised about the potential strain on existing parking created by adding residential units without adding adequate parking for those residents.

“It’s a more dense zone, but it’s a more walkable zone,” John Yapp, the Iowa City Development Services Coordinator, said, adding that the location was “very walkable to and from downtown” where parking ramps are more readily available.

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