Iowa Arena Plan

Members of a state panel want Johnson County to pitch in more on a $78 million Coralville, Iowa, development that includes a new arena, sports center and museum.

Coralville officials are asking for $12 million in funding through the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Reinvestment District program. The program allows cities to create geographic zones, and divert hotel and sales tax money from those districts to finance large projects, according to the Des Moines Register.

The proposed project is planned for the Iowa River Landing, a 180-acre site between the Iowa River and First Avenue in Coralville. It already features retail, restaurants and hotels.

The state grant would help finance a 6,216-capacity ice arena, proposed to be the new home of the University of Iowa club hockey team, the Iowa Ice Hawks and local youth leagues. Also in the plan is a two-story Iowa Fitness and Sports Performance Institute with a field house and a sports sciences area and a mixed-use building that will feature retail, condos, the Antique Car Museum of Iowa and the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, the Register said.

Johnson County would likely fund $50,000 to $75,000 as part of the planned move of the Johnson County Historical Society but IEDA board member David Bernstein said he thinks the county could contribute more to funding the project.

The board did not hold a vote to deny or approve the project, although several board members voiced support of the project’s progress.

The state board is said to be close to giving its final approval of the $12 million grant but the parties have more work to do, the paper said.