WATERLOO | A local developer plans a $9 million apartment complex and future commercial project at the former Grand Hotel site downtown.

Cedar Falls native Brent Dahlstrom is working with city officials on an agreement to build a four-story, 70-unit apartment building at the corner of Westfield Avenue and Jefferson Street.

"The development agreement is being finalized," said Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson. "We hope to allow the developer the rights to the entire site, with phases being met on a timeline for development to keep those right in place."

The city acquired and demolished the Grand Hotel at 300 W. Mullan Ave. in July 2010 after it deteriorated into a downtown eyesore that was highly visible from nearby U.S. Highway 218 and in the heart of the Riverfront Renaissance downtown revitalization effort.

Vandewalle and Associates, a Madison, Wis.-based consultant, worked with the developer and city officials to ensure the site's new use meshed with the city's overall downtown master plan.

The apartment building would be a split of 800-square-foot single-bedroom and 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom units. Nearly 200 parking spaces would serve both the apartment building and the future commercial project.

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An application to the Iowa Economic Development Administration, which was approved by the Waterloo Enterprise Zone Commission Thursday, indicates the project would be financed by the developer and a bank loan. The enterprise zone benefits, if approved by IEDA, would include an $895,000 investment tax credit and $275,000 sales tax refund.

Dahlstrom's application noted he was anxious to begin work this summer, with completion slated for spring 2015.

The new apartments would be located near the shadow of the Cedar Valley TechWorks and is just a block away from the newly opened Cedar Valley SportsPlex.

"The project will provide excellent living opportunities to a highly visible area," Dahlstrom said in the application.

"This project will provide housing opportunities to workers in the downtown area who would prefer a short commute or walk," he added. "It's close and convenient location to downtown Waterloo will also bring more patrons to local business for food, entertainment and shopping."

Dahlstrom and his partners have developed a number of residential and commercial projects in the Cedar Valley. Downtown Waterloo projects include the 72-unit River Trail condominiums at at East Seventh and Sycamore streets along the Cedar River and 11 planned loft-style apartments in the Masonic Temple at 325 E. Park Ave.

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