Storefronts filled on Cedar Falls Main Street - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Storefronts filled on Cedar Falls Main Street


CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Downtown Cedar Falls is back in business. Just two years ago there were a number of empty commercial spaces. Now, it's a full house.

The year 2008 brought the destructive tornado, and the historic floods, but it was also the beginning of an economic downturn. In Cedar Falls there were as many as nine empty storefronts downtown.  Now, they are all open for business.

myVerona is just one of Main Street Cedar Falls' success stories. The Italian restaurant has become so popular in the past couple of years it is expanding to the building next door.

"It's a resurgence throughout the country that downtown main street has become quite popular, but I think ours is especially so," said myVerona General Manager, Cindy Bramblett.

With every storefront filled, officials with Community Main Street say it's an exciting time, but may be short lived as one business already plans to close. Where some see an obstacle, Executive Director of Community Main Street, Marabeth Soneson sees an opportunity:

"Its means that we attract the maximum number of visitors to our district. Every store has its one favorite customer and that pulls people to the area. If you're in downtown Cedar Falls you rarely just go to one place you got to several," said Soneson.

The store to complete Main Street will be called Sweet Basil Market, but its owner is no stranger to downtown. Natalie Brown also owns the popular Scratch Cupcakery.

"I hope people see it as an opportunity to come down here to support local business and support small business. There is a whole bunch of business owners down here that this is their life and this is what they do. To see customers walking downtown all the time is encouraging," said Brown.

Near downtown, plans are moving forward for new development at the site of the Old Broom Factory Restaurant. Monday the city council approved rezoning plans for a 17 million dollar condominium with commercial space.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer


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