Commerce Building

The historic Commerce Building in downtown Sioux City, shown Oct. 19, would be turned into 76 apartments, modern offices and retail space under a $14 million restoration plan by an Omaha-based developer.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | The city of Sioux City could pitch in about $2.5 million to assist a trio of historic redevelopment projects downtown. 

Tax rebates, a grant and a low-interest loan from the city could assist J. Development -- the real estate firm planning to invest nearly $35 million to renovate the former Hatch Furniture Building, Commerce Building and former Methodist Hospital -- according to a development and minimum assessment agreement on Monday's City Council agenda.

Hatch Furniture building

Omaha-based J. Development Co. has purchased the former Hatch Furniture Building at 413 Pierce St. and plans to convert the structure into commercial space and 30 market-rate apartments.

Omaha-based J. Development in October announced its plans to renovate the three buildings into mixed-use space. 

At 413 Pierce St., the former Hatch Furniture building, the developer plans to redevelop the three-story structure into commercial space and 30 apartments, as well as add a fourth floor, for an investment of $5.95 million. The project's commercial space would need to carry a minimum assessment of $412,600 under the agreement with the city. 

At 520 Nebraska St., where J. Development plans to take ownership at the beginning of next year, it plans to redevelop the property into 22,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space and 77 market-rate apartments on floors two through five, for an investment of $16.25 million. The commercial space will need a minimum assessment of $1.185 million, according to the agreement. 

At 2825 Douglas St., at the site of the former Methodist Hospital, J. Development is finalizing the purchase from UnityPoint Health -- St. Luke's. The developer intends to completely redevelop the property into 69 market-rate apartments, an investment of $12.4 million. No minimum assessment is required on the currently tax-exempt property. 

According to city documents, the city will recoup its investment for the three projects through new property taxes and loan payments in about eight years. 

In addition to the financial assistance, the city will provide parking stalls in city-owned parking ramps for the two downtown projects at the lowest bulk rate allowable: $32 per stall per month.

The agreement will include 100 stalls in the Martin Luther King Jr. parking ramp at the corner of Sixth and Nebraska streets for the Commerce Building and 55 stalls in the River's Landing ramp at 419 Douglas St. for the Hatch Building project. 

Spectra contract

In other action Monday, the council will vote whether to finalize a five-year agreement with Pennsylvania-based Spectra for management of the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre. 

If approved Monday, the agreement would go into effect Jan. 1. 

Spectra would receive a $110,000 yearly management fee and a fee equal to 25 percent of any reduction in the annual operating deficit at the Tyson Events Center. Spectra also may receive a $25,000 "qualitative incentive" based on customer service scores, achievement of goals and other criteria. 

In addition, the company will receive a 2.5 percent commission on revenue from existing sponsorships and 17.5 percent for new or increased sales and sponsorship revenue. Spectra also is required to maintain one employee as a city employee until Dec. 31, 2018. 

New fireworks dates

Monday's council meeting will also bring the second and possibly third and final reading of an ordinance that would dramatically shorten the number of days Sioux Cityans can discharge fireworks within city limits on holidays. 

The change would shorten the current 10-day window for Fourth of July fireworks discharge to two days -- July 3 and 4 -- from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and shorten the current three-day window surrounding New Year's to 11½ hours: from 1 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The council passed the first reading of the ordinance 5-0 last week but delayed passing second and third readings to allow for more public input.

Siouxland Paramedics agreement

The council will also vote on an amendment to its contract with Siouxland Paramedics Inc. that will terminate the contract, effective 8 a.m. Jan. 1. 

Siouxland Paramedics, a 37-year-old nonprofit ambulance service, informed the city in mid-August that it would no longer offer 911 services in Sioux City or North Sioux City after the year's end, prompting the City Council in mid-September to vote 3-1 to take over ambulance services in Sioux City limits as a civilian division under Sioux City Fire Rescue.

Sioux City currently owns the Siouxland Paramedics ambulances, and under the contract agreement on Monday's agenda, Siouxland Paramedics will return eight ambulances and supervisors' car to the city but will be allowed to retain one ambulance. Sioux City will retain all equipment included in the ambulances. 


City hall reporter

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