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Tag Archives: Quentin Hart

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



Waterloo Mayoral Candidate Forum Recap

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber held a Waterloo Mayoral Candidates Forum on Wednesday, October 21st at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center to give investor businesses the opportunity to understand each candidate’s position on issues that affect the economy including business climate, workforce, and quality of life.

Forty-five business leaders and community members attended the forum. Specific topics raised included: the “ban the box’ proposal that would require employers and landlords to remove questions about felony convictions from initial applications, public safety, the Waterloo Regional Airport, University Avenue, the Hwy. 63/Logan Plaza corridor, and economic development tools and assets.

“The Alliance & Chamber serves as the one voice for business in the region. We advocate for the concerns of business at the local, state, and national level. We provide opportunities for education on issues, interaction with officials, and encourage our investors to participate in the process,” says Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber. “These candidate forums are designed for our investors to become better informed during a very busy legislative and election year.”

All five candidates participated in the Waterloo Forum including: City Councilman Quentin Hart; former three-term mayor Tim Hurley; Black Hawk County Supervisor Frank Magsamen; business owner and member of the city’s Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission Leah Morrison; and business owner Wayne Nathem.

Each of the mayoral candidates made a brief opening statement. Moderator Mike Mc Crary Chair of the Alliance & Chamber Government Relations Committee, then directed questions from the audience to the candidates.

In his opening statement Quentin Hart –outlined his five point platform focused on safer streets, economic development, neighborhood empowerment, creating a positive image and a 2025 vision plan for the future. He sees University Avenue as an opportunity to grow business. He points to the completed projects along the Hwy. 63 corridor and stresses an equal approach to economic development and redevelopment throughout the city. Hart cites the level of education of our people as the city’s number one economic development asset.

Tim Hurley cast his vision for Waterloo as “a city where capital, people and business come and want to stay.” He would accomplish this through strong economic development, efficient delivery of city services, and improved city image. If elected Hurley would strive to negotiate a fair price with the DOT and others on the transfer of University Avenue and its modernization. While Hurley would not “mess with TIF” he would examine how its use in the Crossroads retail area. Waterloo’s legacy of making products and the work ethic of its population are on his list of economic development strengths.

Hart and Hurley both acknowledge the need for a full-time economic developer to increase business growth and expansion.

Frank Magsamen described his goal to hire a professional city manager as seen in many large Iowa communities, moving away from the current mayor-led form of government. He sees University Avenue as a long-term project requiring more study. Magsamen believes existing business expansion is the best opportunity for economic growth. He also suggests limiting Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) to 10 years. He considers the quality and quantity of water as one of Waterloo’s key economic development strength.

Wayne Nathem says his military and business background prepared him to lead the city. He would examine each department to cut costs. Nathem is adamantly opposed to roundabouts citing they ‘increase response time for emergency vehicles. He is also opposed to bike lanes and feels pedestrians are not a major concern on University Ave. He suggests a stronger relationship with Iowa Economic Development Authority to increase new business investment in Waterloo.

The basis of Leah Morrison’s  message is in lowering taxes, lowering the levy rate, and limiting the use of TIF. She stresses the importance of having all stakeholders involved in University Avenue decision-making. Morrison suggests an “all hands on deck” approach to redevelop Logan Plaza, an area where she would support a generous use of TIF. She would like to position Waterloo as a convention hub which in turn would increase traffic at the airport.

All candidates agree that the mayor’s office should support and equip law enforcement and that collaboration of community organizations needs to increase to make Waterloo safer. Building trust between the people and law enforcement is a priority of all candidates.

Hurley is the lone candidate who opposes the current ‘ban the box’ proposal stating that process should slow down in order to hear from the business and professional community.

(Read more on this in Tim Jamison’s Courier article here)

Investors have the opportunity to meet the Cedar Falls candidates in a similar forum on Friday, Oct. 23, at 7:30am at the Cedar Falls Visitors Center.

For more information on the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and their Government Relations activities, go to www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or contact Steve Dust at sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling 319-232-1156.


Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Summit

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is hosting the fourth annual Executive Diversity & Inclusion Summit, an educational event for professionals on Friday, September 26th.  The Executive Diversity & Inclusion Summit, sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Iowa, Inc. will be held at Allen College, 1990 Heath Street, Waterloo, from 8:00am to 1:30pm, with registration and breakfast beginning at 7:30am. The Summit provides attendees a concentrated and focused experience with multiple activities including a keynote speaker, a featured speaker, and authoritative workshops. Recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute are available to attendees.

Summit Topic: Identifying Unconscious Bias in the Work Place

The keynote speaker is Armers Moncure, whose areas of speaking, consulting and training focus and expertise include: Unconscious Bias, Cultural Competency and Employee Engagement. Most recently, Armers piloted new approaches to integrating best practices in Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Engagement. One of his signature and most popular workshops for increasing engagement is called Discovering WorkLife Passion and Purpose.

The focus of the keynote presentation will be Unconscious Bias in the Work Place. Attendees will gain an understanding of the dynamics of hidden or unconscious perceptions and how it can show up in daily activities and reinforce stereotypes. The presentation will also show how unconscious bias impacts talents management and inclusion within the workplace and offer ways to mitigate the impact of unconscious bias.

The featured speaker is  Deanna Kosaraju with her presentation How to Create and Sustain a High Performing Team Through Diversification. This presentation will look at how diversity in an organization can increase innovation and enhance productivity, resulting in higher sales and profits. Creating a plan for the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse employees, while eliminating unconscious bias and stereotype threat, will shift an organization from a stifling culture to one where ideas and innovation thrive.

Two breakout sessions will be presented by local experts; Effective Workplace Communication in a Pluralistic Society presented by Karris Golden and Diversity and the Impact on Your Organization presented by Quentin Hart.

Also during the Summit, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber will announce the call for nominations and application processes for the Diversity & Inclusion Awards to be presented at the 2015 Annual Celebration, March 26, 2015 at the Park Place Event Center, Cedar Falls.

These awards will be given for outstanding contribution by a business or organization for leadership in creating and strengthening an environment of diversity and inclusion in the workplace culture, business practices and in the community.  Deadline for nominations is October 31, 2014.

The Summit’s premier sponsor is Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Iowa-Inc. It is also supported by gold sponsors Allen College Unity Point and Veridian Credit Union. CUNA Mutual Group is the silver sponsor. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested no later than September 19th by going to the Events Calendar at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com. More information about the initiative and the awards can be found there.

The Diversity & Inclusion Initiative helps the business & institutions of the Cedar Valley region recognize and act on the business case for adopting and implementing inclusive practices in hiring, employee development, marketing and environment.

For more information about the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Partnership, Summit or awards call Cary Darrah at (319)232-1156 or email cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com.

Go to the event page on our website by clicking here.


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