Requirements around Roshek Building development set to change again

The Roshek Building in Dubuque is owned by Dubuque Initiatives. The nonprofit is selling the...
The Roshek Building in Dubuque is owned by Dubuque Initiatives. The nonprofit is selling the building to Heartland Financial and Cottingham & Butler. (Charlie Grant, KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:03 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Dubuque’s city council is set to remove job requirements and alter its commitments to support businesses developing the Roshek Building in downtown.

The city council will vote Monday on a 4th amendment to its development agreement after Cottingham & Butler and Heartland Financial purchased the building in 2019 under the joint entity of Roshek Property, LLC. In the initial agreement, the two companies agreed to invest in renovating the building and meet job creation levels while the city committed to build a new parking ramp to make room for those additional workers. Previous amendments delayed those agreements due to the Pandemic.

The new amendment would be a more drastic change to the initial agreement.

For its part, Dubuque would no longer be required to build a new parking ramp unless the capacity of its other ramps top 85%. Right now, that sits at 65% across four nearby parking ramps. Instead, it will work with the companies to improve pedestrian safety around existing ramps.

Cottingham & Butler and Heartland Financial would no longer be required to meet job creation requirements. Instead, the required investment in the building renovation would jump from $2.85 million to $25 million.

In a memo to city council, City Manager Mike Van Milligen notes both companies have already exceeded the previous job creation requirement, adding about 90 employees combined. He says this new agreement is in the best interest of both the companies and the city.

“We believe these collective changes support continued investment from the companies in our downtown while simultaneously providing the City more flexibility in addressing downtown parking needs,” Van Milligen writes.

The sale of the Roshek Building in 2019 followed a failed agreement with IBM that included millions of dollars in tax incentives when IBM failed to maintain staffing.