COUNCIL BLUFFS — Whether a developer can turn the vacant Gunn School into a senior housing complex now lies in the hands of the Council Bluffs City Council.
So far, the official recommendations regarding the plan have been negative.
The council will hear the matter when it meets Monday.
Earlier this week, the city’s Planning Commission adopted the recommendation of the Community Development Department to rezone just the school building for senior citizen apartments — but not the surrounding area that would have been used for another structure that the developers say is necessary for the project to be viable. The recommendations will now be forwarded to the City Council for consideration.
The Seldin Co. of Omaha wants to create 46 market-rate senior apartments, 18 in the current building on North Broadway and 28 in an addition. In addition to senior citizens, the housing would be available for middle-age and older people with disabilities.
“We want to have a nice project, and 46 units make this financially feasible,” Deb Petersen, an attorney representing Seldin, told the commission. “That is a level we need to achieve to do this.”
She told the commission it would be “the jewel of the neighborhood” when completed.
But the plan met with opposition.
“Our biggest concern is the density of the population on that property,” said Dave Christensen, president of the North Broadway Neighborhood Association.