Two Central Iowa residents with experience in real estate redevelopment and finance are buying the former AIB College of Business campus overlooking downtown and plan to rehabilitate former student housing for apartments and resell the remainder of the property for office, commercial and residential uses, the Business Record has learned.

The proposal, submitted by Tina Smothers of Stuart and Jason Grove of Adel, to buy the 14.5-acre parcel at 2500 Fleur Drive for $7.5 million was approved by the Iowa Board of Regents on June 5. The two were working through the final details of financing for the project at press time. The site, zoned for multifamily and light industrial, includes seven buildings and an undeveloped 3-acre parcel.

Smothers and Grove were among five finalists to whom the University of Iowa considered selling the property. UI acquired the property in 2016 as a gift from AIB.

Operating as the Village at Grays Lake LLC, Smothers and Grove plan to retain Fenton Hall East and West, and Wells Hall. The remainder of the property has been subdivided and will be resold.  

The venture is the largest multiuse project Smothers and Grove have done together. 

“It’s been very scary but at the same time very exciting because we knew that great things would happen,” said Smothers, 39. “Everything seemed to just fall in place.”

To learn more about the developers, their plans, details about the sale and comments from former AIB President Nancy Williams, continue reading.