University of Iowa plans to buy downtown Iowa City mall

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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They could have saved a ton of money had they bought it years ago when they had the chance:

In discussing plans over the next decade for their campus, University of Iowa officials disclosed Wednesday they intend to buy the Old Capitol Town Center, a downtown Iowa City mall opened in 1981 just south of the Pentacrest that already houses many campus programs.


The UI also revealed its 10-year plans include selling its 109-year-old downtown Jefferson Building, modernizing its student memorial union, replace the union’s parking ramp and upgrading its athletics facilities. Athletics upgrades include an already-announced $20 million stand-alone Hawkeye wrestling facility, a $9 million women’s gymnastics and spirit squad training center and improvements to its baseball facilities.


Main campus upgrades involve modernization and renovation of buildings on its famed Pentacrest; repurposing its art building for administrative use; expanding its Tippie College of Business; and relocating multicultural, international and LGBTQ resource centers to a park adjacent the Iowa Memorial Union.


In anticipation of the Board of Regents’ consideration of the UI’s 10-year master plan — which regents gave permission to proceed with Wednesday — UI Health Care last week announced its own long-term construction intentions, including a new patient tower, academic building and clinic on its Iowa City main campus.


UIHC expansion​


In justifying those plans before the board Wednesday, UI Hospitals and Clinics Chief Executive Officer Suresh Gunasekaran said more than 44 percent of its 848 beds will become obsolete without modernization or renovation. Meanwhile, he said, the state will need UIHC to grow by 400-plus beds to keep up with its residents’ increasingly complex health care needs.


Currently, Gunasekaran said, UIHC is already 80 beds shy of enabling it to accept all the patients needing to be seen at UIHC — the state’s only academic medical center.


“Just today, in our COVID Emergency Response Team meeting, we were discussing the 45 high-level, high-priority transfers that are awaiting from other Iowa hospitals that we need to get in today,” Gunasekaran said. “We have a plan to get in about 15 of them. And we're making exceptional efforts to get in about another 15. But that will still leave 15 that will definitely not get in today, and we'll wait for tomorrow.”


Those, he said, are just the high-priority patient transfers.


“There's another 10 to 20 that are lesser-priority that are sitting behind this that we have already told, ‘There is no chance that we can take the transfer,’” Gunasekaran said.


Last fall, responding to needs for UIHC to expand, the regents approved UIHC’s plans to build a new $395 million, 469,000-square-foot hospital and clinics facility in North Liberty.


Designs and budgets for the newly approved UIHC projects are in the works, although Gunasekaran said they could take a decade or more to realize.


‘Right-size’​


UIHC and main campus administrators told regents Wednesday they plan to bring back updates and requests regarding specific projects as they materialize — noting funding sources will include donations, state partnering allocations and other campus funds.


In justifying much of the planned main campus upgrades, UI Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz said the work aims to eliminate deferred maintenance costs and “right size” the campus, which has lost enrollment in recent years.


“We're very proud that we have, over the last five years … removed over 200,000 square feet of obsolete, antiquated space on main campus,” Lehnertz said.


In that vein, UI also is planning to raze several buildings in the coming years — including its Westlawn student health and wellness building and Halsey Hall.


Explaining plans to take over the Old Capitol Town Center, which once included J.C. Penney and Younkers as anchors, Lehnertz said the UI currently is 62 percent owner of the mall and has contractual rights to purchase it outright in 2024-2025.


“So given the immediate proximity to the Pentacrest … and how since 2008 this building has become a second center of activity for our students,” Lehnertz said, "we will continue to modernize the building to serve our students’ needs on campus and look for those arrangements with the developer to transfer ownership to the university.”

 

torbee

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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg
 

z_ape

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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg

I like it. We could just relocate the asian students to Carver then.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg
Honestly I would be down with a 10K state of the art facility that would be packed on the regular.....more concerned with a great home court advantage than revenue.....

The sea of empty seats at Carver has to end.....
 

95Hawk

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Nov 21, 2001
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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg

That’s all fine and good…but can you guarantee that the soft serve ice cream would be as good?
 

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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Honestly I would be down with a 10K state of the art facility that would be packed on the regular.....more concerned with a great home court advantage than revenue.....

The sea of empty seats at Carver has to end.....
Those 8 PM tipoffs are killing attendance:

The tipoff time for Thursday’s Indiana-Iowa men’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 8:07 p.m., which means this:


There will be empty seats, and probably more than a few.


It doesn’t necessarily mean interest in the Hawkeyes has decreased. It does mean many fans have reasons to be inclined to stay home.


In the 2000-2001 season, each of the then-15,500 seats was sold for every home game. The lowest home season-average for men’s games since Carver opened in 1983 — not counting last season’s fan-less COVID-19 season — is the 11,635 of 2010-11. It was 12,869 two seasons ago.


Iowa’s average announced home crowd this season is 10,963. That will rise with nothing but eight conference games left on the slate, but the three remaining 8 p.m. games aren’t likely to help much.


We can list a lot of other reasons why fans might not be coming. Carver isn’t the most fan-friendly arena. The pandemic certainly doesn’t help. The team, 1-3 in the Big Ten, has some winning to do to capture some buzz.


Here’s where your resident know-it-all would propose possible solutions. The thing is, there may not be any of real substance to offer unless you think the school would make major changes to accommodate its students and bring in more of them. Maybe someday.


Quite simply, the dominant factors in crowd-size are the starting times. When Iowa hosted Maryland on Jan. 3, the announced crowd was 10,327 and there were considerably fewer people than that in the arena. There was a time when the thought of Carver being half-empty for any Big Ten game was unimaginable.


The reason the crowd was so small was the game being at 8 p.m. on a Monday, on the heels of a holiday week.


This is winter in Iowa, after all, and the games are on television.


The Big Ten has all its conference games on BTN, an ESPN network, FOX, FS1 or CBS. With 14 members, that makes for a lot of games, multiple games almost every day from New Year’s until the end of the regular-season. They’ve been scheduled to make the traditional 7 p.m. starting time in the Central time zone obsolete.


Iowa’s biggest announced home crowd this season easily was the 15,056 for its Dec. 29 game against Western Illinois, certainly not a marquee opponent. That the game was played during a holiday week helped greatly, and its 7 p.m. tip made it even more palatable.


The 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. weeknight games the Hawkeyes and other Central time zone league teams typically get are hard on fans. Either it takes too much effort to get to the arena on time for the early games, or the late starts are too taxing for people to get home at a reasonable hour.


"You know, 8 p.m. on a Thursday night is tough for someone who wants to drive over from Des Moines,“ Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said this week. ”We all recognize that. We wish they could be better, but that's when the games are.


“There are a lot of things you would like to see done differently. Everybody wants Saturday home games. Can't always get them.”


The days of everyone playing every Saturday are long gone. Every game is a television property, and the networks and league don’t want them bumping into each other. Typically, two to four Big Ten games are played on Saturdays.


Iowa’s lone Saturday home game of the season will be next week, against Penn State. Barring inclement weather, fans will show up, happy the television gods gave them a day and time that were merciful to them.


From a business sense, the only reasonable choice is for the conference to take the enormous money the networks give it to air its “inventory.” But at what long-term cost? Won’t the connection and interest the fans feel gradually be reduced as they attend fewer games in person?


On Wednesday afternoon, online ticket broker StubHub had over 100 tickets to the Indiana-Iowa game available from $6 to $10. The cheapest adult tickets at the UI athletics box office are $15.


It’s a buyer’s market. It has been for a while, and that’s the way it likely will stay. Your attendance is desired, but your convenience is of no concern.

 
Mar 11, 2020
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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg
After hearing what gasser said about the renovations to carver I wonder how this is all going to work. Sounds like the money has been spent on the reno job.
 
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modini

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Not sure if it's in the article or not, but have it on good authority that the old Field House is coming down in the next few years.
 
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Herky T Hawk

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The mall footprint may not be big enough for a new basketball arena, even if you tore the whole thing down. Not counting the basketball practice addition or the office area, CHA is about 380 ft wide for the building, the mall is about 360. CHA is about 380 ft long, the mall is about 550 not counting the parking ramp.

Nebraska's new arena is 400ft x 550ft.
Wisconsin's arena is about 400ft x 460ft.
 

torbee

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The mall footprint may not be big enough for a new basketball arena, even if you tore the whole thing down. Not counting the basketball practice addition or the office area, CHA is about 380 ft wide for the building, the mall is about 360. CHA is about 380 ft long, the mall is about 550 not counting the parking ramp.

Nebraska's new arena is 400ft x 550ft.
Wisconsin's arena is about 400ft x 460ft.
Counterpoint:

If the U was visionary, it could convert the site into a mixed-use development very, very similar to the Banker's Life Fieldhouse area in downtown Indianapolis. The footprints are remarkably similar, even though Indy is much denser.

BL-area.png


OC-area.png
 

cigaretteman

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Counterpoint:

If the U was visionary, it could convert the site into a mixed-use development very, very similar to the Banker's Life Fieldhouse area in downtown Indianapolis. The footprints are remarkably similar, even though Indy is much denser.

BL-area.png


OC-area.png
That's a BIG if, there!
 
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SI_NYC

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Dec 15, 2001
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I'm curious about the art school mention. Are they referring to the old art school that isn't being used or one of the newer Steven Holl designed art buildings?

Edit
Got word that it's the old art building.
 

ANYCHawk

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Imagine, if you will, an arena like this on the site -- only with multi-story attached parking and a mixed-use commercial development attached which would allow you to retain the restaurants and bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Etc.

It would be a new dawn for Iowa basketball!

Pinnacle_Bank_Arena%2C_2_Sep_2013%2C_21_of_27.jpg

Blue Hairs will still tell you to sit your ass down
 

GOHOX69

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Counterpoint:

If the U was visionary, it could convert the site into a mixed-use development very, very similar to the Banker's Life Fieldhouse area in downtown Indianapolis. The footprints are remarkably similar, even though Indy is much denser.

BL-area.png


OC-area.png
U of I. Visionary. As @cigaretteman said, say wut?
 
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torbee

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U of I. Visionary. As @cigaretteman said, say wut?
Hey, if this university can build the greatest writer's school in a cornfield to such an extent that it is named a UNESCO City of Literature, if this school can produce a space exploration visionary as fantastic as James Allen and produce the best wrestler to ever walk planet Earth in Dan Gable, it can certainly accomplish something as pedestrian as a nice functional basketball arena in its urban core. Hell, the mouthbreathers in Lincoln managed that!!
 
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cigaretteman

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Hey, if this university can build the greatest writer's school in a cornfield to such an extent that it is named a UNESCO City of Literature, if this school can produce a space exploration visionary as fantastic as James Allen and produce the best wrestler to ever walk planet Earth in Dan Gable, it can certainly accomplish something as pedestrian as a nice functional basketball arena in its urban core. Hell, the mouthbreathers in Lincoln managed that!!
I think Cyclone fans might have something to say about that statement!
 

Doodads and Hoohah

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The mall footprint may not be big enough for a new basketball arena, even if you tore the whole thing down. Not counting the basketball practice addition or the office area, CHA is about 380 ft wide for the building, the mall is about 360. CHA is about 380 ft long, the mall is about 550 not counting the parking ramp.

Nebraska's new arena is 400ft x 550ft.
Wisconsin's arena is about 400ft x 460ft.
I think there is more than enough room and I love the idea of the arena right there.
 
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EagleHawk

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Tonight's attendance is probably going to suffer ever more as a lot of high schools are pushing Friday night games to tonight to avoid the storm.
 
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torbee

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Tonight's attendance is probably going to suffer ever more as a lot of high schools are pushing Friday night games to tonight to avoid the storm.
I will be there with 4,000 to 5,000 of my friends. :rolleyes:

The irony is, because I'm a basketball fanatic, I actually don't hate Carver. It's a nice venue to watch a game in.

That said, it fails in so, so many ways for the casual fan. And that's why it must be replaced.
 

GOHOX69

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Hey, if this university can build the greatest writer's school in a cornfield to such an extent that it is named a UNESCO City of Literature, if this school can produce a space exploration visionary as fantastic as James Allen and produce the best wrestler to ever walk planet Earth in Dan Gable, it can certainly accomplish something as pedestrian as a nice functional basketball arena in its urban core. Hell, the mouthbreathers in Lincoln managed that!!
They also gave you Todd Lickliter :) Jus sayin.
 
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GOHOX69

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I will be there with 4,000 to 5,000 of my friends. :rolleyes:

The irony is, because I'm a basketball fanatic, I actually don't hate Carver. It's a nice venue to watch a game in.

That said, it fails in so, so many ways for the casual fan. And that's why it must be replaced.
There are significantly worse dumps than CHA. Old fossils like me remember the Field House. When Carver opened, it was like a futuristic space ship compared to a gym that had giant girders that blocked your view if you were sad enough to have a ticket there. Fans are apathetic to the product I think. Even now, Carver is a nice facility though terrible for those who have arthritis who have to walk up and down the concrete steps. Get a better team and start winning consistently and things would change.

Otherwise, let's watch Patrick McCaffery do more Falbo brothers ads.