Tour de'Loo highlights the new additions to Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tour de'Loo highlights the new additions to Waterloo

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Criticized at times for lack of business in the downtown area, one city highlighting the recent growth Thursday night.

Waterloo hosted the annual Tour de'Loo event with 12 new and renovated businesses that opened their doors to people.

New construction and renovation throughout the downtown, all part breathing new life into a once booming industrial city.

"There is 10 to 12,14,16 new renovations through out the district every year. It speaks to the progress of the district; how far we have come. We don't always necessarily think of what is new and what is happening. It really adds up," said Main Street Waterloo, Executive Director Tavis Hall.

Like this $13 million-68 unit living community going up on Jefferson Street. Grand Crossing is set to open in March of next year.

Couple it with renovations to buildings like the old Wonder Bread Co, it seems everywhere you look there is construction.

The growth focused not just on development of architecture, but the minds of people, with spaces for collaboration. The new spaces included the library's Hive, a free space for creativity and community.

"It is really gratifying. It is refreshing to see the downtown growing," said Waterloo native Barbra Culpeper-Shield.

The downtown still a work in progress with evidence of that down turn decades ago still present, like the empty storefront at the iconic Black's building.

"You are going to have empty store fronts sometimes as businesses move and adjust, as the market does what it does. We are in a pretty good spot right now. We've got a couple of gaps, but that is why we have to keep on working," said Hall.

 "Now, it is a renaissance. I love it," said Culpeper-Shield.

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