Iowa City plans for Riverfront Crossings District - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City plans for Riverfront Crossings District


IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Iowa City is moving forward with plans to reintegrate the Iowa River back into the community. It's being called the "Riverfront Crossings District."

City planners hope it will be a successful blend of housing, retail, and recreational facilities.

"The flood of 2008 really made us rethink the use of the riverfront," said Kathy Howard, associate planner.

Howard says the goal of the Riverfront Crossings redevelopment is to create a pedestrian-friendly urban environment.

Interim City Manager Dale Helling thinks it will add to the vibrancy of the downtown area near the river.

"Expansion across Burlington Street to downtown would be a small part of that, but then the development further to the south would be more of an urban-type of setting," Helling explained. "It would certainly add to the central part of the community and make it a more attractive place."

The district's borders would reach the Iowa River on the west side, and Burlington Street to the north. The east side would go just past Gilbert Street, and touch Highway 6 to the south. It will likely include a network of public areas and walkways, in addition to high-density retail and residential space.

"We're trying to gather together all the stakeholders, the property owners, and the business community that would have a stake in the redevelopment of this area," said Howard.

The city is receiving assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is providing funding for the planning process. The city will be partnering with both public and private groups to generate funding for the project.

Three public meetings are scheduled to share information and ideas with residents and ask for input. The first one will be Wednesday, November 11th from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M. at the Johnson County Human Services building on Dubuque Street.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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