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Hobart lays out plans for Toledo Juvenile home campus

Assisted Living, Senior And Family Housing In The Works

November 9, 2017
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Next: Meeting With State Officials Om Nov. 16

A package of senior housing, assisted living facility with memory care along with a multi-family development and single family homes all for the former Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls campus in Toledo was before the Toledo City Council on Wednesday night, Nov. 1.

The 93-year-old state institution was ordered closed in January, 2014, by then-Governor Terry Branstad and Charles Palmer, who headed the Department of Human Services at the time. The 27-acre campus has sat idle since.

Article Photos

Aerial view of the 27 acre Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls campus in Toledo.
Tama co. Assessor photo

Jim Hobart, owner of Hobart Historic Restoration based in Cedar Rapids called upon the council to endorse the project which he plans to take before state officials on Nov. 16. Hobart had proposed a like plan earlier this year but it then apparently went to the back burner.

"Very few people are going to step forward and take a bite out of the apple," Hobart remarked about the IJH property in urging city council endorsement. He said it is expected the transformation of the property would be done in phases over a period of three ot five years.

Among those expected to be on hand for what is planned to be a closed-session meeting in Des Moines are Debbie Durham, head of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, Janet Phipps, director of Administrative Service along with Hobart and his company representatives, State Rep Dean Fisher told The Chronicle.

Fact Box

Highlights of Proposed Iowa Juvenile Home -

Toledo Site Reuse Project-----

State of Iowa sells IJH / Training School campus to City of Toledo for $1.

The City of Toledo, in turn, as a "pass-through" owner sells the IJH property and 14 city owned lots to Hobart Restoration for $1.

Over a period estimated at three to five years, Hobart works with Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineers, Knutson Construction and Assisted Living Partners.

The existing school and administration buildings would house assisted living and a memory care unit.

Senior independent living, duplex, fourplex and 12 unit multi-family housing, new first-time homes and luxury homes.

A park area which Hobart said he is trying to place adjacent to the existing basketball courts.

Jim Hobart said town hall meetings and consultation with residents would occur to get community input into the project.

The Hobart reuse plan lists community benefits: 400 temporary construction jobs; 70-100 permanent jobs; 10-year tax abatement puts the property on the tax roll after the abatement years and in years 2011-15 may bring in $6.1 million to the city; expand local retail economy; expand local sales tax collections; provides workforce housing to expand the local population; new building lots for multiple and singlefamily housing; provides access to health are' green space for park.

Assisted living Partners is described as "an Iowa-based company that specializes in regulatory compliance, assisted living development and assisted living management."

Toledo Mayor Dave Svoboda, Council member Brian Sokol and Toledo city attorney Mike Marquess were also invited and said they would attend as well as Rep. Fisher. One other Toledo council member might join the group as well.

Hobart and Fisher, who was present for the council meeting Wednesday, said the proposal was only in "the working stages." Hobart said he was before the council to get their backing.

"It's up to you guys," Rep. Fisher sad one point, indicating he believes the State of Iowa's interest is primarily being assured any plans for the property meet with local approval. They said the state could expected to give the property to the City of Toledo.

Hobart said the deal would require the city grant tax incentives in the form of abatement and incentives. In tun, he predicted in the 10th year, the resulting property taxes would be $1.3 million a year.

The plan also calls for $11 million in state cash and incentives. The list includes new market, workforce, state and federal historic rehabilitation, grayfield / brownfield tax credits and cottages to qualify for state and federal historic tax credits, state and federal grants, Community Development Block Grant housing and $1.5 million in matching funds for green space improvements.

Hobart also said he wanted the city-owned property located at the southeast corner of the IJH campus to also be included in the deal. this are consists of 14 residential building lots located on South Elm Street directly across from Woodlawn Cemetery. It was once part of the IJH campus and included a dairy barn.

In the plan Hobart Restoration would buy the land for the nominal sum of $1.

Council members indicated they would take both the endorsement of the project and the sale of the property under consideration The council meeting was a work session and the agenda did not allow for any action to be taken.

Council member Sokol said "Our biggest (consideration) is on discussion of the city land in the deal."

All five council members, Steve Vesely, Terry Goodhart, Joe Boll, Travis Mullen and Sokol were present along with Mayor Svoboda ,City Attorney Marquess, Public Works Director Kendall Jordan, City Clerk Kim McAdoo, Rep. Fisher, Hobart and a company representative, Fisher and Toledo City Council Candidate Darvin Graham.

The council's next regular meeting is Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center.

Two meetings set in October to discuss a different use with city council members about establishment of a Meskwaki Career Technical Academy on the IJH campus were both postponed. The council had met earlier this year with Rex Kozak of IT Electrical Services in Marshalltown and the head of Meskwaki Housing, Kent Scheid who had received council support for this project.There was no official word on the status of that proposal Wednesday night.



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