Court Halts CU's $1 Land Buy

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IOWA CITY, Iowa-A state court last week ordered a halt to a controversial transaction that would allow the University of Iowa Community CU to buy 20 acres of land in nearby North Liberty for $1 to build a new headquarters as part of a planned 64-acre development.

The temporary injunction effectively delays the closing of the transaction until at least Jan. 4, 2011, when the court has set a hearing on the legality of the deal.

The group Concerned Taxpayers of North Liberty filed suit to stop the deal. Under the plan, the city would purchase 64 acres of undeveloped land on the west side of the city from an out-of-town group for $11 million, then transfer 24 acres to the CU for $1. The remaining 40 acres would be purchased by a city-sponsored group for additional development. The group of citizens opposing the deal-most of them members of the $1 billion CU-object to the beneficial terms of the transaction, as well as the plans to rezone the property from multi-family to commercial use, according to Karen Fesler, a spokesman for the group and a CU member.

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