TH EXCLUSIVE: Developers propose $60 million, 390-unit apartment complex in Dubuque

Developers plan to invest about $60 million to create a 390-unit apartment complex in Dubuque.

Developers Eagle Construction and Talon Development, of South Dakota, aim to construct 13 apartment buildings with 13 detached, multi-stall garages on a parcel located at the end of Plaza Drive, just behind Blain’s Farm & Fleet. The development also would include amenities for residents such as a swimming pool, dog park, a community building and playground.

Josh Kruger, president of Eagle Construction and Talon Development, said he aims to break ground on the project in the spring, with the first apartment building being completed within nine to 10 months.

“We’ve had Dubuque on our list of potential areas to take a look at for the past two years,” Kruger said. “We saw the need for Dubuque.”

This week, the city’s Zoning Advisory Commission members voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council rezone the site of the proposed apartment complex from planned commercial to planned residential. That recommendation will be considered by council members during their Oct. 17 meeting.

County property records state that the 26.7-acre parcel is owned by Roger Cherland, of Lone Rock, Iowa, who purchased it in 2012 for $1.5 million.

The development would result in a major injection of new housing units in Dubuque, which currently faces low vacancy rates. The city is projected to need 1,100 new housing units over the next 10 years to meet future population demands.

Kruger said the apartments will consist of studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom market rate units, ranging from 500 to 1,200 square feet. Actual rental rates have not yet been determined.

Eagle Construction and Talon Development have a history of multi-family residential developments in Iowa communities, including Spirit Lake, Sioux City and Fort Dodge.

“We’ve been developing multifamily properties throughout Iowa for the last four or five years,” Kruger said. “Based on the future growth and the employment base (in Dubuque), this made sense for us.”

Dubuque Housing and Community Development Director Alexis Steger said the project would make a significant impact in regards to the city’s future housing needs, and it fits with the its goal of creating additional affordable housing outside of low-income census tracts.

“This is a very good movement in the right direction,” she said. “We do want to keep building in areas that are outside of areas of concentrated poverty.”

She added that the project site’s proximity to a movie theater and retail stores will make it more appealing for potential renters.

“It’s very beneficial housing for people who don’t have a car,” Steger said. “They will still have a lot of mobility going to those amenities.”

The project’s developers also seek to utilize housing incentives approved by City Council members last month.

Steger said the developer already has requested that the property receive an urban revitalization area designation, which would allow for future tax abatement of property tax increases caused by the development for a period of years.