The Iowa City Planning and Community Development Department hosted a series of workshops with residents and business owners from the Southeast District to discuss and gather input on what people wanted to see in the future of their neighborhood. The workshops provided the impetus for the development of the Southeast District Plan, which will help guide the City in future decisions and plans for the area. Some of the workshop discussions focused on the need to revitalize the Towncrest commercial district in ways that would serve existing businesses while also drawing new retailers, service providers, and consumers to the area. Those conversations were the seed that grew to become the Towncrest Urban Renewal Plan.
Towncrest neighborhood revitalization focus of May 14 presentation
The City of Iowa City Planning and Community Development Department worked with business students at the University of Iowa this spring on ways to revitalize the Towncrest neighborhood in Iowa City—an area the City has been working on redeveloping for a number of years. The UI students will present their final recommendations to elected officials, City of Iowa City staff, business owners, and the general public at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 in Emma Harvat Hall, City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street.
The students are in an Advanced Real Estate class offered by the Tippie College of Business during the spring semester and taught by John Gallo, a member of the college’s finance faculty. The students spent the semester studying and analyzing the neighborhood to determine the commercial market needs, the appropriate financial assistance needed to encourage development, and the potential uses for the City-owned parcel at the southwest corner of First Avenue and Muscatine Avenue. Over the course of the project, they met with a number of developers, people from the local lending community, appraisers, City staff, and the National Development Council to determine the best use for the corner lot.
Gallo taught a similar class in spring 2012 that made a proposal to the City of Cedar Rapids regarding the Westdale Mall area. That project is now proceeding and many of the students’ recommendations are being incorporated into the complete redevelopment and repurposing of Westdale Mall.
For more information, contact Steve Long, Community Development Coordinator, at 319-356-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New - Highlights and Project Updates
Commercial Lot For Sale - 2229 Muscatine Avenue
on Thursday, October 25, 2012
Towncrest Financial Incentives / Urban Renewal Plan
The City’s Economic Development Coordinator has prepared an urban renewal plan for the Towncrest area that includes implementation of a Tax-Incentive Financing (TIF) district and funding for façade improvements as well as for new construction or reconstruction of existing commercial spaces.
Towncrest Area Commercial Real Estate Inventory Form
The City wants to put people who are interested in investing in the Towncrest area – such as developers, retailers, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations – in touch with Towncrest-area property owners who are interested in selling or leasing their commercial property, or in selling land they own that could be developed. If you’re interested, please fill out and submit the following form.
If interested in purchasing or leasing a property in the Towncrest area, please contact the Planning & Community Development Department at (319) 356-5230.
Towncrest Design Plan
The City hired RDG Planning and Design, a landscape architecture design firm, to create a Towncrest streetscape plan that would establish design standards for basic architectural treatments, sidewalks, landscaping, signage, public open spaces, parking, and amenities for developers and businesses to follow as part of the urban renewal plan. Before starting the project, RDG met with residents and business owners and also set up a comments section on their website to get a sense of what people wanted. The Towncrest Design Plan was approved by the City Council on February 1, 2011. All projects must meet the requirements of the Towncrest Design Plan.