Coralville doubles down on the Iowa River Landing

Not confident, apparently, with their chances of success in the lawsuit filed against them, Coralville has counter-sued the group of developers and business that had the audacity to question the legal merit of Coralville’s high dollar give-away to Oliver McMillan and Von Maur.  Oliver McMillan is  the California developer in charge of doing Coralville’s dirty work in getting the land and cash into Von Maur’s hand.  Von Maur is a department store that “rarely has any customers and carries old lady fashions. It reminds me of the department store in ‘Shopgirl'” according to my friend Adam.

Coralville countersues in Von Maur case by Emily Schettler in the Press-Citizen, Apr. 16, 2012

In court documents filed this morning, Coralville alleges intentional interference with contract and civil conspiracy by those who brought the original lawsuit: A group of eight developers, businesspeople, property owners and 18 area businesses.

In their countersuit, the city argued that the original group of plaintiffs “intentionally and improperly interfered with contract(s) by filing this lawsuit” to prevent the counterclaimants, Coralville and its master developer OliverMcMillan, from proceeding with contracts it had entered into related to work within the city’s Iowa River Landing district.

In the counterclaim, the city argues that the group’s conduct was “willful, wanton, and malicious and in conscious and reckless disregard of Counterclaimants’ rights.”

How dare they question our actions, screams the business friendly city?  Does this mean that all those people who harp about Iowa City being business unfriendly next to wonderful accommodating Coralville?

As a spectator in this, I say bring it on.

To digress slightly, I actually support the development of the Iowa River Landing, even if it did kill Dolls, Inc.  And I support government supported development (I believe in stimulus).  What I don’t support is forgoing years and years of tax receipts and unfairly shutting out private developers.  As I’ve pointed out before, Coralville has a lot in common with New Jersey.

At this point the ire of the community seems to be directed at Kelly Hayworth, the Coralville City Administrator, and Oliver McMillan, the San Diego developer.  And I believe they both deserve plenty of ire.  But when is the city council that sat idly by while Hayworth and McMillan hatched their plans going to be called to account for this?

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