Noel Anderson. Photographed Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Waterloo, Iowa.

WATERLOO — A city deal with Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity could lead to more housing construction and clear up a parking issue for a planned grocery store in the Walnut Neighborhood.

Waterloo City Council members are scheduled to hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall on a multi-faceted agreement with the nonprofit housing agency.

“This agreement is the next step in public-private partnerships for neighborhood transformation as the city is working with several positive entities to redevelop this area,” said Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson.

The proposal calls on the city to donate seven city-owned lots in the Walnut Neighborhood northeast of downtown to Habitat for Humanity, including three with blighted houses.

Habitat would have 10 years to build new homes on the vacant lots and rehabilitate the houses. If Habitat determines the three houses need to be torn down, the agency would be reimbursed by the city up to $5,000 for each demolition and would be required to build homes on the sites instead.

A second element of the proposed agreement involves two vacant lots on the corner of Walnut and Pine streets, which Habitat acquired for $28,000 in January from Nick Taiber.

The city essentially is reimbursing Habitat for the cost of those lots, which will serve as a future parking lot for Walnut Court Apartments. The apartments, in return, are donating an existing lot as part of the site for a new All In Grocers supermarket and restaurant near the CVS Pharmacy at U.S. Highway 63 and Franklin Street.

City officials in 2014 had asked the county for title to the lots on Walnut and Pine, noting it was likely they would be needed for future development. The county Board of Supervisors declined to donate the land and put it up for auction, where Taiber outbid the city and bought the lots for $8,400.

A final element of the contract between Habitat and the city calls on Habitat to give the city a blighted house the agency owns at 706 W. Park Ave. in the Church Row Neighborhood.

Other scheduled council business Monday includes:

  • A development agreement with Chris Fischels for a new 5,184-square-foot commercial building just south of 2911 Southland Drive. Fischels would receive three years of 70 percent property tax rebates and four years of 65 percent rebates on the value of the completed project.
  • Accepting a $750,000 grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association to pay for landscaping and amenities as part of the University Avenue reconstruction project. The deal requires a $750,000 match of city funds for the improvements.

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