Local developers look to add to downtown Cedar Falls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local developers look to add to downtown Cedar Falls


It's a hot piece of property. Over the past two decades developers have tried and failed to add new buildings to downtown Cedar Falls. Now a local development group is taking on the task of revitalizing land east of State Street by adding some commercial, residential and even an inn to the property.

Jean Fischer and Mark Kittrell are part of the development group, Eagle View Partners. They lived in downtown Cedar Falls for 18 months and wanted to stay, but there were no more places available.

"It was vibrant. There was always something going on. You could always run into some people and if you didn't want to run into people you could go for a walk in the park. You could go down the nature trails. It was such a vibrant area to live," said Fischer.

With the demand being so great for downtown, Kittrell and Fischer decided to look into developing the land east of State Street. Their project includes new places to live, new spots for business, and an inn.

While there is a lot of excitement building for this project, there are also some concerns from a nearby sewage treatment plant to traffic and even parking, which in downtown Cedar Falls can be sometimes hard to come by.

Julie Shimek is the owner of a small shop called Vintage Iron in downtown Cedar Falls. She's all for the development, but does have some concerns.

"I think it's a double-edged sword, because one of our big issues downtown is parking and very often I'm told it's a good problem to have, but they forget the word 'problem' is in there and I think it's a big issue for our customers," said Shimek.

"They may have the opportunity to ride the bus, ride their bicycles, whatever the case maybe. We're going to be encouraging the more green, urban lifestyle as well. Parking always is an issue, but it doesn't have to be the only one," said Kittrell.

As for the smell from the sewage treatment plant, Kittrell and Fischer say it has not impacted downtown at all so far as all the store fronts are full and you can't even find an apartment to rent.

This project is just getting started and the developers are looking for support from the community. They say once everything is approved they are planning on a timeline of five years for construction.

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