New office complex planned for Waterloo, Iowa

Apr. 27--WATERLOO -- A $9 million, nine-building energy-efficient "green" professional office park has been proposed in the growing San Marnan Drive office area.

The project, called Green Meadows, would be located on the south side of San Marnan west of Lincoln Savings Bank.

Developer Jeff Stickfort and real estate agent Jack Nooren said construction on the project could begin in 60 to 90 days, as soon as a sufficient number of parties have made commitments.

"We're hoping to build three buildings a year for three years," Stickfort said. "We hope to get started late this summer. -- We've had a lot of interest in just a little bit of time."

One party has committed and at least two others are pending.

"Once we reach that critical point of three" firm commitments, "we'll immediately break ground," Nooren said.

Stickfort, who teamed with Nooren on a previous project in Cedar Falls, said the current project is a case of the location and the demand coming together at the right time.

"It seems like there is a lot of activity in the area," Stickfort said of the growing strip of San Marnan Drive between Ansborough and Kimball avenues.

Also, he said, "We had a number of requests for 5,000-square-foot office buildings. There just wasn't a lot of them."

Nooren came up with the place to put them.

"The layout of the park has a great location and also has a design that will encompass the natural grade of the property," Nooren said. It will include a couple of ponds.

Various forms of alternative energy will be afforded to those wishing to locate offices there, Nooren said. "We'll be offering to the parties information on solar power, wind power as well as, potentially, geothermal heating systems," he said. AHTS Architects of Waterloo is the project architect.

All building materials and other aspects of construction will comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council, Nooren said.

"We'll use some recyclable materials where possible," Nooren said, as well as thick insulated concrete building forms. For those choosing wind energy, individual wind turbines will be mounted on their buildings.

Stickfort and Nooren said the project should be eligible for financial incentives through the state of Iowa, MidAmerican Energy Co. and the city. He will seek city approval of tax increment financing incentives for the project.

The buildings' owner-occupants will share snow and yard care through a condominium-style arrangement.

Stickfort and Nooren said the office park will include but not be limited to medical practices, and the project will not include any retail-style commercial development.

Copyright (c) 2008, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.