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Tag Archives: Iowa Economic Development Authority

State tax incentives programs are ‘important tool’

All of the projects we have, regardless of size, there isn’t one that I can think of that wasn’t a good deal,’ Skubal said.

Lisa Rivera Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

Lisa Rivera Skubal

Read more of what Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, and other experts have to say about state and local incentives to companies in this article in the Quad-City Times.

After Apple deal, tax incentives face scrutiny, Erin Murphy, Quad-City Times, October 6, 2017

Waterloo’s Crystal Distribution Approved for IEDA Award

CEDAR VALLEY OF IOWA (August 18, 2017) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today approved a tax credit award for Crystal Distribution Services, Inc. The company qualified for sales tax rebate on construction materials for a $5.5 million expansion project of its Waterloo facility.

IEDA application assistance was provided through the Alliance & Chamber’s business retention and expansion (BRE) services which focus on keeping and growing businesses in the Greater Cedar Valley. These services are provided to any business in the region, including investors in the Alliance & Chamber.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber economic development team of Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, and Cassie Evers, Business Services Coordinator, collaborated with the City of Waterloo and IEDA to assist Crystal Distribution owner Tom Poe with the application process. Their goal was to ensure that the company’s project qualified and was approved this month by IEDA to allow time for construction to begin this year.

On Monday, Waterloo City Council unanimously approved development incentives for Crystal Distribution’s expansion and agreed to serve as a sponsor for the IEDA application.

Today, the IEDA board today awarded this project tax benefits under its High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program which provides qualifying businesses assistance to offset some of the costs incurred to locate, expand, or modernize an Iowa facility. In addition to the capital investment, Crystal Distribution’s project will create one additional job at a qualifying wage of $17.29 per hour.

According to the company’s website, Crystal Distribution provides temperature-controlled warehouse and repackaging services to food processing companies around the world. The company began operation in the Cedar Valley more than 100 years ago by cutting ice from the local river and distributing it around the country. Crystal Distribution is a current investor in the Alliance & Chamber.

Read August 28, 2017, IEDA news release here: Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $48 million in capital investment in Iowa

Read August 15, 2017, The Courier article here: Incentives for Crystal approved

 

 

What a Day!

By Steve Dust, President/CEO Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

You have probably seen that commercial for an insurance company where, after a great day for a young woman receiving a new car and an equally dismal day for a man whose car tires have been stolen, both exclaim, “What a day!”

That’s how I felt on Tuesday, July 11 as spent four hours traveling to and from Des Moines to attend a three-hour meeting.

Usually, I wouldn’t attend a meeting outside the Cedar Valley on the day of an Alliance & Chamber board meeting, never mind our annual meeting. But I broke that rule for the Future Ready Iowa Alliance board meeting because it meets so infrequently, its planning work is nearing the end, and important implementation actions soon follow.

“What a day!” I repeated to myself the entire trip. Initially, I focused on missing hours of prep time for the Alliance & Chamber annual meeting. Then the people I encountered completely turned my day around.

  • Ben Allen, former University of Northern Iowa president and current interim Iowa State University president, was the first person I encountered. It was good to see an old friend and champion of the Cedar Valley. That was worth the trip, I thought.
  • Mike Ralston, President of Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and I walked in together. We always have a lot to compare notes on, but he emphasized that a recent ABI social media post attracted the largest number of views, interactions, and reposts his organization had experienced. The post featured the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presenting U.S. Rep Rod Blum with its Spirit of Enterprise Award; the Alliance & Chamber co-hosted the event at the TDS Automation/Doerfer plant in Waverly.
  • Hawkeye Community College President Linda Allen is one of eight on the board from various Cedar Valley sectors. As we were getting yet another cup of coffee, she talked to me about another potential partnership between Hawkeye and a local major employer, implemented at TechWorks Campus. She is pumped about the opportunity. (Now, all we need is money).
  • As the program began, Georgia Van Gundy, CEO of Iowa Business Council, gave a shout out to the Cedar Valley’s aggressive programming to retain, recruit, and prepare talent to fuel economic growth. Unexpected and appreciated. (IBC’s members are Iowa’s largest 20+/- employers, the three regent universities, and bankers’ association.)
  • While walking back to my table from the coffee urn, President Liang Chee Wee of Northeast Iowa Community College got up from his table to greet me with his characteristic smile. He told me, “I’m a fan of all you’re doing in the Cedar Valley!” That’s all of you: I just happened to be in the spot to catch the compliment.
  • It was good to see Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham simply because of health challenges she has been managing – with her typical “I’m not getting beat” approach, of course. But then she highly complimented the work of the Alliance & Chamber Economic Development team working on a particular project. I thanked her for taking extraordinary steps to ensure the opportunity to win.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds’ Deputy Chief of Staff Tim Albrecht is a recent graduate of ABI’s Leadership Iowa, the same class for which Leader Valley‘s Melissa Reade was a co-director. Tim thanked me for the time given Melissa to fulfill that role. She said, “Without Melissa there, it would not have been the amazing experience we had.” That is quite a compliment.
  • During the meeting, I sat with UNI Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Jim Wohlpart. He has a goal to ensure the Future Ready Iowa initiatives to increase the percentage of Iowan’s with post-high school educational/career prep credentials are effectively implemented in the Cedar Valley economic area. Jim frequently moved our small-group discussion toward the need for local strategies to implement the statewide framework. His enthusiasm is contagious. I’m glad to have such a motivated leader making a difference for the workforce and employers of the Cedar Valley.

By the end of the meeting, I was saying, “What a day!” but for an entirely different reason than during my morning drive.

I had been reminded that the Cedar Valley generally, and our Alliance & Chamber especially, have many talented people effectively and proactively implementing meaningful projects to make our region even greater – and that effort recognized statewide.

Waterloo Business Park Recognized as an Iowa Certified Site

Today, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced five additional
industrial sites to achieve certification through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) certified site program. The City’s South Waterloo Business Park was among the five announced during Governor Branstad’s weekly press conference at the Capitol this
morning.

The South Waterloo Business Park totals 181 acres and is located immediately south of Highway 20 and generally bounded by Ansborough Avenue, Shaulis Road, and Kimball Avenue. Waterloo is one of only 17 sites certified in Iowa. In an effort to address the lack of project ready industrial sites, the Iowa Economic Development

In an effort to address the lack of project ready industrial sites, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) created the Iowa Certified Site Program in May 2012. Under the leadership of Director Debi Durham, IEDA retained nationally recognized site selection firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting to perform independent analysis of applicants on behalf of IEDA.

“These five additional sites give Iowa – and Waterloo – an advantage when it comes to growing our state’s economy,” said Gov. Branstad. “The Communities have gone through a rigorous process to become certified and should be proud of what they have accomplished. Each site being ‘development-ready’ means more projects coming to Iowa and, in turn, more jobs.

“We are extremely excited to have the South Waterloo Business Park certified as a ‘development ready site’ said Quentin Hart, Mayor, City of Waterloo. “In partnership with the Alliance & Chamber we have been marketing it as development ready site and now it has the official designation as being such by McCallum Sweeney Consultants and the Iowa Economic Development Authority”. Hart added.

“The South Waterloo Business Park is immediately located off U.S. Highway 20 and near I-380 well positioned for expanding companies to service east-west and north-south U.S. markets.” He said.

Site certification is one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business, and by introducing certified sites to the market Iowa is better able to compete for large scale projects. By going through this rigorous process, developers — working closely with their local officials, utility partners and consultants — are better prepared to market their sites with specific site-related information and community data. All site due diligence is completed and resulting issues are mitigated, making the site “risk-free” and thus accelerating the development schedule.

With the help of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber, the City completed the certification process within 18 months, once McCallum Sweeny Consulting invited Waterloo to complete the required due diligence on the Park. To be certified the Park had to meet eight criteria including the ability to provide at least 5 megawatts of electric energy, fiber optics, and 500,000 gallons of water per day of excess capacity at the site within a 6 month timeframe. The certification process required a close partnership between City planning officials, Waterloo Water Works, Waterloo Waste Water, MidAmerican Energy Co. and Mediacom Communications.

“The Alliance & Chamber continues to see an increased demand by site selection consultants and companies for shovel ready sites versus a traditional greenfield site”, said Steve Dust, President/CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. “The Certified Site designation essentially shortens a company’s schedule for new construction. This a location differentiator for the Park”, Dust added.

McCallum Sweeny Consultant will provide Waterloo and Alliance & Chamber officials with
recommendations for marketing and industry targets which will be incorporated in the Alliance & Chamber’s external marketing initiatives for the Cedar Valley. IEDA also undertakes special marketing initiatives to promote Iowa’s Certified Sites. The South Waterloo Business Park is well suited for companies engaged in light industrial, logistics/distribution, and data centers.

Companies interested in receiving more information on the South Waterloo Business Park should contact Noel Anderson or Adrienne Miller with the City of Waterloo at 319-291-4366 or Lisa Skubal at the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber at 319-232-1156.

Mixed Use Project Construction Begins on TechWorks Campus

Construction has begun on the hotel on the TechWorks Campus in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

Construction has begun on the hotel on the TechWorks Campus in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

$40M hotel, training center, conference space, restaurant construction launch in Tech 2 building

Today, TechWorks Campus, a subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, together with the City of Waterloo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Financial District Properties (FDP), celebrated the construction launch of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, John Deere Training Center, and restaurant in the Tech 2 building on the TechWorks Campus. The construction launch represents a significant step in the continued progress of developing The Green@TechWorks.

Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds,  and Iowa Economic Development Authority representatives were present to celebrate the launch and its significance as one of the first designated Iowa Reinvestment Districts (IRD) and one of the first IRD project to get underway.

Tech 2, an 88-year old former John Deere tractor manufacturing building, is being transformed into The Green@TechWorks re-development project. The 180,000 square foot, six-story building will house a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel; a new restaurant operated by Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO); John Deere Regional Training Center and a conference center (managed by Courtyard). The Green project is a principal feature of the overall TechWorks Campus riverfront re-development.

Also celebrating the launch was hotel operator Hotel Specialists, Inc. (HSI) of Jacksonville, Illinois and restaurant operator Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) of Dallas, Texas.

The Green & Overall Project

The Green@TechWorks is part of the larger 33-acre TechWorks Campus. In addition to the Tech 1 and Tech 2 buildings (formerly John Deere Westfield R & C2) the campus includes parcels suitable for light manufacturing and retail. TechWorks Campus is the first technology park of its kind in Iowa to combine world class business amenities within a Brownfield redevelopment site.

The John Deere Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum is already established in the Campus area, as is the Tech 1 Center for Applied Advanced Manufacturing, including the University of Northern Iowa’s Metal Casting and Additive (3D) Manufacturing Center and a Design Lab in partnership with Hawkeye Community College.

A marina and a riverfront restaurant along the Cedar River are also part of the overall $74.1 million Campus development plan.

“This is a momentous day for TechWorks, the city, and the state of Iowa,” says Cary Darrah, General Manager of TechWorks Campus. “Finally, the public can see the results of years of planning and the efforts of those who believed in the vision for this campus. This is the first of many celebrations to come!”

Downtown Momentum

TechWorks Campus is just steps to the Cedar Valley Recreation Trails, entertainment & museum districts, and a variety of Riverloop District amenities.

Other developments underway in the vicinity include: Grand Crossing mixed use residential/condominiums, Single Speed Brewery with Sidecar Coffee Shop, and Hawkeye Community College Urban Campus.

Construction of the Tech 2 building is now underway, with a projected hotel opening in Spring 2017.

TechWorks Campus is a private non-profit corporation and subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. More information can be found at www.techworkscampus.com or by contacting Cary Darrah, General Manager at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James Facilities Manager at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or by calling (319) 232-1156.

Find photos here.

Read more in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

Development Team Contacts:

The Green@TechWorks – Financial District Properties: Rodney Blackwell 563-324-9898

City of Waterloo: Mayor Quentin Hart 319-291-4301 or

Economic Development Director Noel Anderson 319-291-4366

 

 

TechWorks Campus Announces the Launch of the Green@TechWorks


$40M hotel and training center construction set to begin with Tech2 building sale to developer.

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) – The TechWorks Campus, announces the sale of the Tech2 building to Financial District Properties (FDP) and the start of construction of the highly anticipated Green@TechWorks mixed-use project.

Tech2, an 88 year old former John Deere tractor manufacturing building, is the starting point of the Green@TechWorks re-development project. The 180,000 square foot, six-story building will house a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel; third-party restaurant; John Deere Regional Training Center and conference center. The Green is a principal feature of the overall $74M TechWorks Campus river-front re-development.

“It is gratifying to see The Green @ TechWorks become reality. The project will provide our Campus tenants with tremendous amenities just steps from their operations,” said Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and President of the TechWorks Campus. “Combined with the industrial 3D printing and design center, labs and shop in Tech 1, and the fantastic new John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, the opportunities for the TechWorks building sites and the marina become clear. These new operations compliment the downtown Waterloo revitalization and anchors new Cedar Valley developments along the river from Waverly through Cedar Falls to Waterloo. This is a very exciting time in the Cedar Valley.”

Since The Green@TechWorks project was announced in 2012, FDP along with TechWorks has moved forward with steady determination, pursuing federal, state, and local re-development financing, and brokering agreements between the developer, the City of Waterloo, and others.

FDP Managing Principal Rodney Blackwell has significant experience with downtown real estate redevelopment and is recognized for successfully assembling complex financing structures for downtown projects. Earlier FDP projects include the Mississippi Plaza Center in downtown Davenport, IA, and the North American headquarters for KONE Corp. in Moline, IL. FDP is currently developing Machinery Row, a mixed use re-development area in downtown Racine, Wisconsin. FDP also owns the river-front building occupied primarily by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier at 100 East Fourth.

“Despite the inevitable bumps in the road and some unexpected big challenges; creativity, commitment, and a lot of patience tied all the pieces of the financing puzzle together,” says Blackwell. “We are eager to start construction and look forward to delivering a venue that will compliment the Campus and delight the community.”

Helping to finance the project is $12 million from the Waterloo Reinvestment District.

A portion of the TechWorks Campus has also become the first designated Iowa Reinvestment District (IRD). The District, established by The City of Waterloo will provide up to $12M in new state hotel/motel and sales tax revenues generated within the district for capital projects. $8M will be used to pay off bonds financing The Green@TechWorks. $3M will go to the development of the Tech1 building, with $1M boosting a proposed marina development.

The projected economic impact of the District is significant. Up to 562 new permanent jobs will be created to accommodate the anticipated 275,000 annual visitors to the Campus. Visitors are expected to generate $2.9M in annual food, retail and other sales generated on Campus or in the vicinity.

Construction set to begin on The Green@TechWorks.

Interior pre-construction will begin in March with mobilization expected in mid-April. The target opening date for the project is May 2017. The Davenport office of contractor Ryan Companies US, Inc. has been named to complete the project. Ryan Companies’ Greg Lundgren, Midwest President is senior Project Executive Officer.

An estimated 130 people will be employed during the one year construction period. FDP is committed to use local trades and subcontractors to the greatest extent possible. Only when faced with a skill, schedule, or major price constraint outside trades would be sought, according to developer Blackwell.

Amenities for the business class traveler.

Business travelers to the Campus will enjoy the amenities of the 191-room Courtyard hotel, the newest Marriott property in the market. The hotel will be operated by Hospitality Specialists Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hospitality Specialists Inc. has been operating hotels for over 30 years with properties in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida.

The John Deere Regional Training Center will be constructed on the 2nd floor to address a range of skills upgrades for John Deere employees across its operations.

Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) of Dallas will expand its footprint to Iowa for the first time with a property in the Tech 2 building. CRO operates more than 91 full-service and 24 franchise restaurants in 17 states and globally. CRO manages brands ranging from the traditional steak house to Tex-Mex. The Green’s restaurant will be a new concept for CRO, consistent with Campus clienteles’ requirements.

$74.1 million TechWorks Campus mixed-use development offers unique opportunities.

The TechWorks Campus site and buildings, donated by John Deere to TechWorks in 2006 is located at the gateway to Downtown Waterloo at Highway 218 and West Commercial Street. The 30 acre TechWorks Campus is currently home to University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Additive Manufacturing Center and Design Lab, Hawkeye Community College Design Lab, the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub, John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, and Cedar Valley Makerspace. TechWorks Campus is just steps to the Cedar Valley Recreation Trails, entertainment & museum districts, and a variety of Riverloop District amenities.

Four sites are available on the campus for light industrial, research and development, and retail. 100,000 sf remains in the six-floor Tech 1 building for build-to-suit space ideal for light manufacturing and R&D tenants. Six laboratories are also available. Plans for a marina and a riverfront restaurant along the Cedar River are part of the overall $74.1 million Campus development plan.

“Identifying and attracting the right tenant and development is the next priority for TechWorks,” says Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager of TechWorks Campus. “My job now is to work with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber development team to help companies understand the tremendous value of locating on the TechWorks Campus. With access to University research and training, a wealth of resources, opportunities to make the right connections and create synergies, the amenities of The Green right outside their door, the Campus location shouldn’t be hard to sell.”

TechWorks Campus is a private non-profit corporation and subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. More information can be found at www.techworkscampus.com or by contacting Steve Dust, President of TechWorks Campus by email sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com, Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James Facilities Manager at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or by calling (319)232-1156.

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TechWorks Bird’s Eye – Looking West (12.2.14) 24×36

TechWorks Campus Year in Review

It has been a year of tremendous progress on the TechWorks Campus. Watch the progress happen in this brief video as construction progresses, tenants move in, and events take place in  Tech 1.

 

Then download the PDF that outlines all the highlights from 2015 and previews what is to come in 2016.

Asia Trade Delegation tour & briefing in the Cedar Valley

Alliance & Chamber Host Asia Export Experts

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber will host members of the Iowa Economic Development Authority International Trade Offices (IEDA) for a familiarization tour on December 8, 2015.

The purpose of the IEDA Foreign Trade Team tour is to become acquainted with actively exporting manufacturers in the Cedar Valley Region. IEDA International Foreign Offices including China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Taiwan, assist Iowa companies with global market research, trade missions and trade shows. The tours of the Cedar Valley will focus on IEDA’s efforts to enhance export competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific markets, and to create more jobs in Iowa.

“More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S., accounting for 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power,” said Debi Durham, director of the IEDA. “Exporting is important to Iowa’s economy because it results in new jobs right here in our state.”

The day will include a tour of the TechWorks Campus with a demonstration of the 3D sandcast printer located in University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center Additive Manufacturing Lab, and tours of United Equipment Accessories and CPM Roskamp.

United Equipment Accessories, located in Waverly, custom engineers and designs slip rings, hydraulic swivels, cable reels and shift controls for electronics applications. CPM Roskamp, located in Waterloo, is a designer and manufacturer of pelleting and particle size reduction equipment and automation systems for the animal feed milling and oilseed processing, pet food, ethanol and super absorbent polymer industries. Both companies export products.

The Alliance & Chamber will host an Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Companies already exporting to Asia are encouraged to attend for the latest market briefing.   “IEDA’s international experts will provide the latest information on growing market opportunities in China, Japan and Taiwan,” said Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber.   “Companies interested in export opportunities to Asia markets are welcome to attend to learn about current market conditions and establish network relationships with IEDA’s International Foreign Offices,” Dust added.

“Cedar Valley exports totaled $362 million in 2014 including machinery, processed foods, agriculture commodities, fabricated metal products and more with opportunity for growth,’’ explains Dust. “We provide these opportunities to educate and connect our businesses to international markets because exports are important to the growth and diversity of the Cedar Valley economy.”

The Alliance & Chamber will announce details of its second Global Familiarization Tour to China scheduled for October 2016.

Following the briefing, the Alliance & Chamber will hold its annual Legislative Reception & Networking event. The IEDA International Trade Office representatives and Cedar Valley Legislative Delegation will be present for casual meetings and conversation.

For more information about the IEDA International Trade Office familiarization tour of the Cedar Valley, contact Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Alliance & Chamber, lskubal@cedarvalleyalliance.com. Register for the Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview through the Alliance & Chamber web-site’s event calendar at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com.
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Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub at TechWorks of First Projects to Receive Iowa’s New Strategic Infrastructure Funding – $2.7 Million for additional 3D Printers UNI Metal Casting Center

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub (IAMNH), at the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo, is one of the first projects in the state to be awarded funds through Iowa’s new Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF). The funding was approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board at their June meeting. The project, Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub – Phase I, Additive Manufacturing Center, will receive $2.7 million to fund additional 3D printers for the UNI Metal Casting Center, building improvements, and a design center to be operated by Hawkeye Community College.

“With this financial support from the IEDA and Iowa Innovation Council, UNI is excited and anxious to move forward with creating a full-service additive manufacturing center to meet the innovation and technology needs of Iowa companies,” says Randy Pilkington, Executive Director of UNI’s Business and Community Services. “Thanks to support from IEDA, UNI is building on the momentum of the past 18 months of 3D printing success to create a full-service additive manufacturing center for Iowa manufacturers. Expansion into plastics, metals and ceramics will create one of the best equipped 3D printing facilities in North America.”

The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub application for Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF) was completed by TechWorks staff and a team including UNI’s Randy Pilkington and Metal Casting Center Director Jerry Thiel; Hawkeye Community College President Linda Allen, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jane Bradley; and TechWorks board chair Tim Hurley. The team worked with the State of Iowa and the Iowa Innovation Council’s Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup to finalize the application.

The IEDA funding will help to move Iowa to the forefront of technology in additive manufacturing and establish a premier center for support of its manufacturing base.  This funding is a critical step in advancing the state’s technology base and providing a central location for technology advancement.

$12 million for the TechWorks Campus Reinvestment District

Economic Development Board approves Reinvestment District Funding for Waterloo

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today met to approve funding for the City of Waterloo through the Iowa Reinvestment District program.

The board  approved the maximum benefit amount of $12 million for the TechWorks Campus Reinvestment District plan submitted by the City of Waterloo. The Iowa Reinvestment District Program is designed to assist communities in developing transformative projects that will improve the quality of life, create and enhance unique opportunities, and substantially benefit the community, region and state. The program provides for up to $100 million in new state hotel/motel and sales tax revenues to be “reinvested” within approved districts. Districts cannot exceed 25 acres in size, and must be in an Urban Renewal Area.

Iowa Reinvestment District plans must include tax revenues generated by “new retail establishments” and “new lessors”. New retail establishments cannot exceed 50 percent of the total proposed capital investment. At least one of the new proposed projects within the district must reach a total capital investment of $10 million. And, the total amount of new tax revenues to be remitted to the municipality cannot exceed 35 percent of the total cost of all proposed projects in the district plan.

In 2014, 10 municipalities submitted applications, with three receiving a score in excess of 70 points (out of 100). In June, 2014, the IEDA board approved provisional funding for the projects in the City of Des Moines, the City of Muscatine and the City of Waterloo. Final application materials fully meeting all of the program’s requirements are due prior to March 1, 2015.

The City of Waterloo submitted its final application on Jan. 23, 2015, and today the IEDA board acted to award the maximum $12 million benefit amount contingent on the receipt of a fully executed, amended development agreement between the City of Waterloo, Cedar Valley TechWorks and the developer.

The TechWorks district, located at the west end of downtown and made up of land donated by Deere & Company, would have a capital investment of $74.1 million and include three projects. The first is a mixed-use development including a business-class hotel, industrial incubator, private sector lab and manufacturing maker-space, and John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. The second project area includes commercial out-lots such as a restaurants and retailers that complement other project areas. The third project area includes a marina for boat storage, boat sales, fuel sales and a riverfront restaurant.

Final applications for the cities of Des Moines and Muscatine have not yet been submitted to the IEDA board.

Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees