Bettendorf poised to approve 20-year TIF, $750,000 forgivable loan to entice Twin Bridges redevelopment

A Des Moines developer would tear down the deteriorated Twin Bridges Motor Inn in downtown Bettendorf and construct two five-story apartment buildings worth a total of $22 million under a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal worked out with city officials.

The development agreement would provide Twin Bridges Associates LP, a unit of Newberry Living, with a $750,000 forgivable loan and rebate 100 percent of the incremental property taxes from the 135-unit apartment project for 20 years.

At the current tax rate, the 20-year TIF would be worth approximately $12 million. The property currently is assessed at $799,780 and pays $24,139 annually in property taxes.

[The public hearing on the TIF and forgiveable loan is on the Tuesday, Dec. 6 city council meeting agenda.]

If the property had an assessed value of $22 million, annual property taxes (payable to the school district, city, county, college district and assessor) would be more than $636,000. The difference between the current taxes ($24,139) and the new taxes once the project is complete would be the "incremental taxes" rebated annually to the developer.

Redevelopment of the Twin Bridge motel at 221 15th Street has been a high priority of the city council as the city revamps the downtown in conjunction with the new Interstate 74 bridge project, and talks have been ongoing for months with Newberry about the project and draft incentive package.

One of the issues facing the city and Twin Bridges Associates in working out the agreement was the type of residential housing to be provided in the apartment complex. City officials wanted the apartments to be market-rate versus subsidized housing serving lower income residents.

The TIF agreement calls for market rate housing consisting of micro-studio to two-bedroom apartments.

The agreement is on the city council consent agenda Tuesday (11/1) for setting a public hearing Nov. 15. Twin Bridges Associates is a limited partnership created by Newberry Living of Des Moines. Newberry was one of the two firms seeking to develop the Town Square property along State Street between 21st and 22nd Streets last year.

The city chose Russell Construction Company to develop a plan for the Town Square property. However, after a delay to conduct additional market research, city officials now say the deal with Russell has expired.

"The current building (Twin Bridges) located on this site was constructed in 1961 and is in very poor condition," city official state in the recommendation to establish the TIF rebate. "The city has recently conducted code enforcement activities at the property and the building has not been allowed to be fully occupied since August."

"It is anticipated that this redevelopment project will encourage further private investment in the downtown," according the report provided city council members.

The development agreement requires construction work on the new apartment buildings to begin within 120 days of the contract signing.

Sketch of proposed apartment buildings that would replace the Twin Bridges Motor Inn

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