The Daily Iowan

Board of Regents reviews transfer of land to UI

The Board of Regents is considered a recommendation that the Finkbine Golf Course property be transferred to the legal ownership of the University of Iowa.

Iowa+golfer+Carson+Schaake+hits+the+ball+off+the+fairway+during+the+Iowa+Invitational+at+Finkbine+Golf+Course+on+Sunday%2C+April+17%2C+2016.+
Iowa golfer Carson Schaake hits the ball off the fairway during the Iowa Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Sunday, April 17, 2016.

Iowa golfer Carson Schaake hits the ball off the fairway during the Iowa Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Sunday, April 17, 2016.

Margaret Kispert

Margaret Kispert

Iowa golfer Carson Schaake hits the ball off the fairway during the Iowa Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Sunday, April 17, 2016.

Katie Ann McCarver, News Reporter

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To facilitate plans to redevelop land including 44 acres around Finkbine Golf Course, the University of Iowa has requested approval from the state Board of Regents to transfer 5.28 acres of land from the UI Facilities Corp. to the UI.

In order to enact a redevelopment plan involving the 44 acres around Finkbine, the UI must legally own the 5.28 acres that belongs to the Facilities Corp.

“The UI Facilities Corp. is a separate entity that allows us to act quickly in purchasing property,” UI Assistant Vice President for External Relations Jeneane Beck said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “It is also used for non-traditional university property purchases.”

In this case, the University Club was temporarily needed by IMU Catering for a space following the 2008 floods when the IMU was closed for a period of time.

“A traditional commercial bank loan was used by the Facilities Corp. to acquire the property and then lease it to the university at the cost of the debt service on the loan,” Beck added. “Now that the loan has been paid, the Facilities Corp. will transfer the property to the university.”

The location, 1360 Melrose Ave., includes a large clubhouse, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and parking facilities.

“We originally used the University Club for various storage facilities,” Campus Planning and Development business manager David Kieft said. “Now we’re looking to redevelop the whole property.”

Beck said the University Club remains open and is operating under the same schedule as previously. The UI had announced in 2017 that the University Club would close Sept. 4 this year.

This transfer of property comes a year after the regents approved the UI’s plans to replace the existing Finkbine clubhouse with a new facility that would open in 2019. At that time, Kieft said, the UI planned to request approval to construct a hotel nearby that would be operated by third-party developers. The goal is to position the UI and Finkbine as a championship-level tournament site.

In August 2017, the approved budget for the new Finkbine clubhouse project stood at nearly $10 million; it will be funded by gifts to the Athletics Department, whose budget is separate from the university’s general-operating fund.

“We have been policing this facility for a long time,” Kieft said. “Our goal is to integrate it efficiently and effectively.”

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