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Developer seeks to build large apartment complex in downtown Mason City


This news story was published on March 4, 2019.
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MASON CITY – A developer is seeking to build a large apartment complex in downtown Mason City.

Tuesday night, the Mason City council will consider setting forth the competitive bidding procedures and fixing a date for a public hearing to consider the proposal from Talon, LLC for a market rate housing development in the downtown area.

According to city documents, city staff has been working diligently on encouraging the development of new multifamily housing in the downtown area per the council priorities set in 2018. The product of these efforts is the development proposal being presented today. The development by Talon will bring 113 high quality, market rate apartments to the downtown area. This development will require an incentive of a 10 year/100% tax abatement and the sale of underutilized city land. This tax abatement incentive of 10 years and 100% is being recommended as the new standard for multifamily housing in the downtown and blighted areas. Mason City has witnessed some new construction of multifamily developments, but the vast majority of this construction is focused on greenfield sites on the outer sections of the community. To reinvest in the downtown and bring life to the area, development projects need to have some increased incentive to take on the task of developing downtown and blighted areas with tighter sites, existing structures and more difficulties. This development will continue the redevelopment of the area and bring important shoppers to the nearby stores driving new commercial investment. The proposal from Talon is a payment of $50,000 for the land to the city and the approval of a future application for the increased tax abatement schedule.

In a “breaking news” segment Monday morning, Mayor Bill Schickel claims the development is a spinoff due to the emerging Renaissance Project that is underway nearby.

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55 Responses to Developer seeks to build large apartment complex in downtown Mason City

  1. Avatar

    cj Reply Report comment

    March 8, 2019 at 9:11 am

    $10,000,000 property in Mason City would pay $127,000 a year in property taxes. Why give 10 years free? $1,270,000 gift to someone that never has been to Mason City yet a local home owner is one cent late on taxes start the auction proceedings. If this is such a money maker why give Talon LLC. over a million dollars? When this place floods and we have to evacuate 500 people and pets who pays for that or how much will flood insurance cost being in a flood plain? Why would a mayor want to put children in harms way?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 8, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Because without incentives, it doesn’t get built and we end up with no tax revenue ever. Your attitude is precisely why this town is in the shape it is today.

      For the record, This property isn’t in a flood zone.

  2. Avatar

    Observer the Original Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Let’s clear up some misconceptions. First, for a landlord, Section 8 is voluntary. That means, if a property owner does not want it, the property is not included in the program.

    Second, if a renter with a Section 8 voucher comes to your door, you have the right to reject them (within reason and cause). For cause includes credit and criminal checks failures (fair housing laws apply).

    Third, You must apply with HUD to even rent under Section 8. The property must pass inspection based on HUD’s minimum standards. Units are inspected every year.

    Last, there are a limited number of vouchers allotted to a particular location. In addition there are vouchers available from the VA program, and the Rural Housing program. Also, take into account that some vouchers are portable, in certain instances and qualifications. Preferences are given to disabled and elderly.

    • Avatar

      To The Point Reply Report comment

      March 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      Everything you talk about is freebies. Subsidized housing and the po’folks pay, pay, pay. Tax, tax tax! Go to the inner cities and look at the results of the “projects. They are drug infested disaster areas.

  3. Avatar

    FYI Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Developers make their money DOING the deal. They could give 2 shits if it’s successful or the long term effects on the community.

    The location and number of units are assinine.

    The people of Mason City are being shaken down, once again. All thanks to very stupid leadership in Mason City!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 6, 2019 at 10:43 am

      Please enlighten us. What are the long term effects of transitioning a city owned parking lot which pays nothing in property taxes and is a perpetual tax payer supported liability for maintenance and insurance costs into a privately owned property which pumps tens of thousands of tax dollars into the community in year 10???

      • Avatar

        Wake up you idiot! Reply Report comment

        March 6, 2019 at 10:06 pm

        You are a fool! You are smoking your socks if you hitch your boat to something 10 years down the road. FYI is spot on!!

        • Avatar

          Some college education would serve you well Reply Report comment

          March 7, 2019 at 1:29 am

          It’s a 10 year property tax abatement on real property. Are you under the impression that it’s property tax liability in year 11 carries risk to the city? You think the property tax goes unpaid in year 11??

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    HO HO HO, another joke!

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    OK, already a discrepancy.
    Slick willie Schickel says it is a 10 Million dollar project.
    Steve Boote on his website says it is a 14 Million dollar project.
    Which one is it boys? Oh waht the heck what is “minor” 40% difference increase in cost, eh.

    “According to Schickel, the city’s in plans with Talon, LLC of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to develop a $10 million, 113-unit complex.”
    https://globegazette.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/mason-city-mayor-announces-m-downtown-apartment-project-groundbreaking-in/article_6aa53d6c-9f48-5504-acf7-b492f9b23b65.html

    “Eagle / Talon Plan To Develop A $14,000,000 Multifamily Housing Project in Mason City, Iowa.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/eagle-talon-plan-develop-14000000-multifamily-housing-steve-boote?trk=portfolio_article-card_title

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      You do realize this is private investment? The cost is immaterial to us as the city isn’t paying to build a apartment building.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I would much rather have a nation restaurant chain something like Cracker Barrel on the lot not another apartment building which will be turn into another old folk home.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      So in your opinion, the city should just hold out until a Cracker barrel or olive garden comes along and maybe decides they want to build on this lot? All the time the city continues to collect nothing in property tax on the parcel and incurs all the maintenance costs???

      You ever hear the phrase ‘bird in hand’? I suggest we take what’s given and get a non-property tax paying chunk of land back on the tax rolls and also simultaneously get rid of a maintenance and insurance liability for the city. .

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 5, 2019 at 8:57 pm

        Just for clarification, this apartment complete won’t be on the tax rolls for ten years, correct. I not against it just making sure I under stand

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm

          100% x $0 (property tax) x 10(years)= still equals $0.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

            Geezus this site finds the dumbest of the dumb in north iowa… Currently, As a city owned parking lot, what does it contribute in property tax?

            If it remains a city owned parking lot 11 years from now, what will it contribute in property tax when the apartment building starts paying tens of thousands of dollars every year in property tax?

            What does the city pay in maintenance and insurance liabilities every year for this parking lot? these tax payer supported liabilities go away immediately after a sale to a private developer.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 5, 2019 at 9:01 pm

          Yes. The developer is requesting a 10 year property tax abatement. So in year 10, it contributes to the tax rolls. It is currently city owned property so it contributes nothing to the tax rolls in perpetuity and has annual maintenance and insurance liabilities paid by the city each year.

          This is a no brainer. Give th developer the 10 year abatement. City comes out way ahead.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm

            You are right in the though process of no taxes when city owned. I am just tired of government giving so much away to private investors. They asked for the eggs for so long now they want the chickens. This unit will use city services that others will pay for. I am for the development, but not giving ways the farm. All levels of government have income amd spending problems.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 5, 2019 at 9:36 pm

            City comes out money ahead, even with the 10 year abetment. No brainer. Give the abatement.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 5, 2019 at 11:21 pm

        They don’t do anything to maintain that parking lot stop being so dramatic. Who the hell is gonna live in these apartments anyhow? If you think they won’t turn section 8 you’re probably used to believing bullshit and that’s fine but you’re wrong.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Cracker Barrels are old folks homes.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Not to worry = By the end of 10 years with no Taxes paid and the property looking like all others in Biggy cities like chitcago and deadtroit – SLUMMMMMS – the city can have local taxpayes TEAR IT DOWN. Lesson learned – thieves get RICH you dumb bitchs.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      This attitude is precisely why this town continues to slowly wither away. So many people are just plain against growth and change of any kind.

      With Target Distribution, all the naysayers said the truck traffic would ruin our roads and run over all children in the city.

      With the casino, all the naysayers said our town would be overrun with crime (which it ironically already is anyways).

      With Prestage, the naysayers said it would bring too many Mexicans who would destroy our schools and sell drugs in our streets.

      With the Multi Purpose Arena the naysayers said it was too much cost and to much risk for the taxpayer (even though what little financial risk is involved is well managed).

      Now a private developer wants to turn a city owned parking lot (which contributes nothing to the tax rolls) into a tax paying apartment building and the naysayers say it would bring Section 8 people to town.

      When will attitudes change in this town? Or will we continue to chase every development away because we believe the sky is falling mentality of the towns geriatric curmudgeons?

      • Avatar

        Observer the Original Reply Report comment

        March 5, 2019 at 6:40 pm

        My comment was not about negativity or nay-saying. It was reality, conditions as they are now. I do not look through rose coloured glasses.

        The same goes for the Arena. Too much for a small town, especially when so many end up tapping into taxpayers pockets to cover operations, and attract few events. In Mason City’s case, the estimate was $691,000 per year. You can be best assured that the kid’s hockey will never come near covering that.

        The Amateur bulldogs will play 22 games at home. The arena will hold 3,500. That means each ticket would cost $50 to cover operations, assuming they sell out every match. Who on earth would pay that kind of money to watch kids?

        And you will recall, the hockey kids have yet to put up the $2 million it has promised.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Bet their LIEING AGAIN – we smell TIF – Loan guarantees -SECTION 8 – bUZZLOADS OF DEATROITERS -CHITCAGONITES ALL PLANNED BY YOUR CHAMBER OF LIBERALS/SOCIALISTS. Vegas odds says their dupeing us — you — me me ! Don’t trust them to tell the truth !

  9. Avatar

    Observer the Original Reply Report comment

    March 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    One smell of this, will tell you something is not right.

    The demographics do not work out.

    First off, currently Mason City has more renters 36%, than the state average of 29%. There are 4,515 out of 13,624 homes in Mason City that are rentals.

    The median rent for apartments in Mason City is $463 (vacant for-rent). Median contract rents are $341.

    According to another source, the rent of this new project will begin at $630 for an efficiency. Town homes with three bedrooms will be $1,400.

    No one in town will talk about how many vacant apartments there are in Mason City, so any number would be speculative at best. But all one has to do is look at the trends in population in the City, to realize an investment in apartments is not very good right now.

    The number of jobs in the City has trended down for at least the last decade. I cannot quantify it (yet), but the buying power of those remaining jobs has gone down.

    There is nothing to draw new people in. Retail is dwindling. Foods and other shops are dwindling. There are too many vacant storefronts.

    And again, no one is willing to tell us the vacancy rate for hotels in Mason City either, peak or off peak. What is there to come here for other than the PGI Convention which fills up rooms for miles around? No one adds capacity for every 4 years.

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Would this project count as private investment for/towards the state money along with the hotel?

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      That’s a great question. The downtown re-investment district is small. It might not include the area south of the mall. I’ll ask about this.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 4, 2019 at 8:34 pm

        Thank you and hope to hear back soon.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Yes. But hotels would reap substantially better rebates from the state program as a hotel contributes both sales and hotel taxes.

  11. Avatar

    Ralph Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    But where is everyone going to be able park once the multi purpose arena is finished and people flock to it?

  12. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Won’t those parking spaces be needed for all the fabulous activities that will take place at the event center?

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    If they do become section 8 apts.,what measures are taken to assure that the residents keep them in livable condition? Since they are getting government money, where does the accountability lie?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      Says right in the article the are market rate apartments, not rent assisted apartments.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 4, 2019 at 7:47 pm

        Until they can not fill them at market rate.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 4, 2019 at 8:23 pm

          Very presumptuous of you. Multi family housing stock in this town is ancient. I’d suspect it would be easy to fill a modern apartment building in this town at market rate just because the competition is so downtrodden.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 4, 2019 at 8:37 pm

            I hope you are right I right. Maybe good competition for landlords that maybe haven’t kept there housing to a good standard.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            March 5, 2019 at 9:23 am

            Most people who are reasonable don’t let their family live in an apt. Apts are for single people and kids. If you’re an adult and you live in one you may be a loser. If you’re an adult and think it’s ok to live in an apt with a family your probably a douche. The location the lack of any “yard space” the road right there, no responsible person is going to want to raise a child near that busy road and pollution in the back side the world’s greatest drowning hazard the mid river. There is no space for recreation there is nothing to look at anywhere. It’s a bad plan and it’s only going to fill up with trash. It’s apts and they usually house a lesser human being. Young professionals DO. IT STAY IN MASON CITY, why would they? They have the education to leave and thus don’t need to slave to this town stagnant wages and ever growing cast of criminal characters. No jobs and no recreation in town at all. Oh you have two hundred eating establishments and 150 churches!!! What a fun town! NO, it’s not. It’s sinking and it’s gonna hit bottom and nothing you pansy sad corrupt losers on the city council or Bill shickle try to do about it you’ll never save it from itself. You can claim this is a nice town all you want, all anyone has to do is drive through to disprove that lie. How much more bullshit are these “people” going to rack into their idiot event center? mason city must be a running joke among development companies.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

        you don’t know how section 8 works dumbass. They will pay up to $1800 a mobth. It doesn’t matter if it is low income housing or not. why do you think that worthless Detroit trash on 8th st is renting a $750+ a month multiple bedroom big ass home? They are gonna fill with rejects on sec 8. Who in the hell else wants to live right there with all that traffic and exhaust and nothing to look at but the mall and a vacant drug den/motel and a family video that has to be a front for something profitable. No reasonable person wants to live in smog with no yard and nothing…. Except people that come from dirty loud trashy smelly smoggy grass less shitholes. The whole area West of the event center(ironic name as it’ll probably sit empty the majority of the time) is ghetto meth land all the way to monroe. so what’s a little extra apt building to the south full of single mothers addicted to drugs and their unfortunate offspring a few welfare queens from the D throw in some wannabe thugs and some skinny little junkies here and there! Imagine the beautiful scene that parking lot is gonna become. Mason city is over. We don’t even have the money for these dumps to reliably run the city plows after a blizzard, we spent 4 or 5 days on the most dangerous streets in the north iowa area yet these irons on city council think they need to build another apt complex? This city has a population that trends downward every year! Who’s gonna fill them up? Other than trash?

        • Avatar

          Dick Neely Reply Report comment

          March 5, 2019 at 11:38 am

          And what keeps you here then? Lack of ambition or education? Unable to find housing elsewhere? Sure are good at assuming and settling, huh?

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Looks like not Section 8 for these apartments… the only gov’t assistance is the 10 year tax break. No direct dollars from the government.

  14. Avatar

    Cj Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Talon LLC CEO is Jim Neal was the CEO Bankhaus Metzler witch ended in
    Bankruptcy. No credit checks needed in Mason City. Where is the current list of projects open for bidding in Mason City?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      Wrong Talon LLC.
      The correct one is Talon CEO Steve Boote.

  15. Avatar

    Cj Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Is that parking lot listed for sale? How much?

  16. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    All section 8 and will be destroyed in no time, if it ever happens.

  17. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    I sure hope this does not take too many away from San Antonio Tx, after all our mayor said the river walks will be very similar. I bet they are worried

  18. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Gota have somewhere for the chamber of commerce imports !

  19. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Thought this was a flood zone.

  20. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    and just like the rest of this project, it aint going to cost the taxpayer nothing!!! Right? Guarenteed nothing? Right?

  21. Avatar

    Harry N. Sach Reply Report comment

    March 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    This is PERFECT!!! See….things are looking up already. For all the naysayers, this is BAD BAD news. For the rest of us, this is GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT news!!!!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 4, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      For ten years, no tax dollars go back to the state. That’s if we get the money.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 4, 2019 at 2:16 pm

        Its a city owned parking lot that currently contributes NOTHING to the tax rolls. With this development, the lot will contribute commercial property tax in year 10. This is a no brainer. Give them the tax abatement. City tax rolls come out money ahead in the end.

        You go on to say ‘If we get the money’? You do realize tax liabilities are not unsecured debt, right? Tax liabilities are ALWAYS paid. If the property owner doesn’t pay them, they simply go to tax sale where a third party pays them. .

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm

          I should have said, if we get the money from the state.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 5, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Is it rough being an adult suffering from diminished mental capacity constantly sang stupid things that are totally wrong? Explain how you think their are enough families that want to live in tiny little fellas with thin walls and a hundred neighbors all within speaking distance…….. You need to take a walk around some of mason cities apt complexs. See who really chooses to live in an apt, it’s not your ideal stand up guy and gal with 2.4 kids. It’s raging human filth that live in cell sized units because their life is shit. Nobody lives in apts by choice friend. This is not good. Was for anyone, can you not see how this is a dangerous location for apts? Lots of good traffic for the !wth babies to play in so I guess it isn’t all bad.