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Tag Archives: Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds

Cedar Valley receives Healthy Hometown Founder award

Mayor Jon Crews and Sue Beach receive award on behalf of Cedar Valley Blue Zones

Mayor Jon Crews and Sue Beach receive award on behalf of Cedar Valley Blue Zones. Pictured with Gov. Terry Branstad and Ltn. Gov. Kim Reynolds

Healthiest State Initiative recognize communities’ efforts to improve health and well-being

DES MOINES, IA (Nov. 2, 2016) — The cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo were presented a Healthy HometownSM POWERED BY Wellmark award at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Bringing it Home conference on Nov.1, 2016. The award recognizes the Cedar Valley for their dedication and accomplishments toward meaningful health improvement initiatives in their community.

“The Healthy Hometown Founder award celebrates the achievements made in the Cedar Valley,” said Jami Haberl, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “Cedar Falls and Waterloo have been a model for other Iowa communities and is an encouraging example of what can be done when the citizens of a community join together to truly transform their environment.”

Some noteworthy achievements in Cedar Falls include:

  • Integrating brain breaks in the schools as well as removing pop machines and unhealthy food fundraisers.
  • Building a new pedestrian bridge that connected residential areas with retailers, schools and workplaces.
  • Achieving a 20 percent increase in volunteering among employees at John Deere PEC.
  • Passing land protection policies that pave the way for healthy eating via farmers’ markets and community gardens.

Some noteworthy accomplishments in Waterloo include:

  • Logging 3,428 miles by Orange Elementary students during their first year of promoting physical activity through classroom movement and recess.
  • Losing a combined 1,661 pounds in one year resulting in 56 employees moving from pre-diabetic to normal range at Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing.
  • Constructing a multi-million dollar Highway 63 corridor project’s first phase featuring an impressive two-mile stretch with wide sidewalks, landscaping trees, brick pavers, lighting and benches.
  • Creating 10 gardens thought out the city, four of which are school gardens.

Healthy Hometown program available for all Iowa communities

The Healthy Hometown program is available to all Iowa communities ready to take steps to make the healthy choice the easy choice and improve the overall well-being of their communities.

“One of the best parts of the Healthy Hometown program is the ability for Iowa communities to make improvements that are important to them,” said Laura Jackson, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative board president. “The program offers various levels of support — including assistance from experts if they choose — and guides them to existing resources so they can make their hometown an even better place to live.”

There are three ways communities or organizations can get started. The first is an online self-assessment tool for communities to review where they are at today and how they can connect with existing resources to make enhancements. In 2017, two additional options will be available to help communities put a plan in place for either a specific project or a complete community transformation.

More information about the Healthy Hometown program, including the assessment and resources, is available at: www.iowahealthieststate.com.

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

 

 

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