City making land and real estate moves

contributed graphic Viejo Bluffs Addition is the splitting of the land on the north side of where the new E. Merle Hibbs extension will be built so it will be north of the new McFarland site. The 2 lots will be able to be developed for either commercial or residential uses.

The Marshalltown City Council took several actions relating to the purchase of real estate and preparing land for future development during a regular council meeting Monday.

The real estate purchases relate to the city’s goals of demolishing buildings which were heavily damaged and uninhabitable after the tornado. FEMA requires a city to own property before being able to obligate funds toward its demolition.

As part of Monday’s consent agenda, the council approved a resolution offering to purchase 15 S. First Street from owners Patricia Muratalla and Jose Castellanos for $10,000.

The council also approved an offer to purchase 110 W. Main Street from John and Lisa Blabaum for $1. Council member Gary Thompson abstained from voting on this item, citing a conflict of interest.

“The city is involved with a number of sites which have been impacted by either the tornado, derecho or general dilapidation,” said Michelle Spohnheimer, director of housing and community development. “Our goal to address these properties has led to opportunities for acquisition through a variety of methods.”

On the development front, the council approved a preliminary plat for the Viejo Bluffs first addition. The property is on the north side of where the East Merle Hibbs Boulevard extension will be built and north of where the new McFarland building is being constructed. The city acquired the parcel of land to accommodate the street construction and right of way.

The council approved dividing the land into three parcels, including two developable lots. “This is a parcel that we see is very developable,” Jessica Kinser, city administrator, said. “To break it down into two parcels that do align on a property line will hopefully resolve conflicts in the future.”

The city needed to establish the land as a subdivision because it is divided into three parcels.

The preliminary plat was reviewed and recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission during its April 15 meeting.

“These are zoned traditional neighborhoods currently and are available for multi-use type of development, whether it be residential or commercial or a multi use type of facility,” Spohnheimer said. “It has a lot of development potential.”

After the East Merle Hibbs Boulevard extension is completed the remaining land can be divided and sold.

The final plat will likely come forward after infrastructure is complete, according to Spohnheimer.

The city approved an agreement with Five Star Real Estate to market and sell the property. Five Star Real Estate was the only entity to respond to a request for proposal on the property.

As part of the agreement, the city will grant Five Star Real Estate a 5 percent commission on the gross sale price of the land.

The final plat will need to be presented to the council before any transactions can take place. In order to sell the property, the council will need to hold a public hearing.

Kinser said a listing agreement on Viejo Bluffs could be completed this week.


Contact Joe Fisher at jfisher@timesrepublican.com.


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