The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 7, 2013

Cedar Rapids group aims to create housing in Wilson Building

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — A Cedar Rapids investment group has sights set on transforming the Wilson Building, a downtown Clinton landmark, into high-end rentals.  

Officials with Frantz-Hobart Investments will present to the Clinton City Council’s Committee of the Whole their plan to perform a $4.75 million historic renovation to convert the century-old building into roughly 30 market rate, high-end residential rental units with retail space on the ground floor.

In a letter to city of Clinton officials, Jim Hobart, partner at Frantz-Hobart Investment Services, stated his company does not have any plans to use low-income tax credits or any other incentive that would restrict income of future tenants.  

The company has completed similar historic renovation projects in Dubuque, Burlington, Fort Madison and Monmouth, Ill.   

According to Hobart, the company has the opportunity to buy the building that will end in March 2013.

Before that time, the firm wants to work with the city to create a development deal that will include funding from federal, state, local and private sources.

“We are excited about the future of downtown Clinton and sincerely believe that the Wilson Building project could be the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial partnership between our company and the city of Clinton,” Hobart wrote.  

The building changed ownership last September after it was purchased by a group from Davenport through a tax sale.  

At the time, the purchasers stated they weren’t interested in being long-time owners and were seeking developers to restore the property, which a month prior was cited by the city’s Building and Neighborhood Services department for a mold condition.