Iowa Proud Waterloo: Downtown Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Proud Waterloo: Downtown Waterloo

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by Chris Carter

WATERLOO (KWWL)-- An ongoing facelift is all about re-energizing and re-vitalizing the core of Waterloo.

On a beautiful summer day, things have never looked brighter for downtown Waterloo. After years of little to no growth, the heart of the city has never beaten stronger. The revitalization effort is palpable.

 The new life that you're going to be seeing on the streets, the outdoor cafes and the people," said Terry Poe Buschkamp of Main Street Waterloo. "It's just one thing at a time to make it a great place to live, work and do business.

The changes are on every level, in addition to city and local government funded revitalization efforts, private business owners are stepping up to the plate like never before.

The beloved Black's Building downtown used to be "the" department store decades ago, now it is home to the most ambitious private project in town. Barmuda Corporation's Darin Beck is building a new skyroom on the upper floor and a new Bourbon Street restaurant and Voodoo Lounge on the ground floor.

In the restaurant, nightclub and lounge industry, it's real important to pay attention to what your customers are thinking," said Lori McConeville of Barmuda Corporation. "Our guests are telling us they want more places in downtown Waterloo. With everything that's happening down here right now , there is a synergy, there's a lot of people who come down here for events. The other businesses that are investing, restaurants, and we just felt the timing was right.

Waterloo's big project for years on the books has been downtown River Renaissance. Renaissance is probably a better word for everything that is going on here, because in many ways this city is undergoing a rebirth and everyone involved is like a proud new parent.

I have never been more proud of our community than I am right now.It took a long time to get here. It took a lot of people who invested a lot of time and a lot of money, but right now it's becoming the cool place to be.

From small businesses to large conventions at the Five Sullivan Brothers, a healthy downtown is vital to the health of the entire city.

"It's something that again I don't think we'll ever see a finished product, no should we, because that continued growth and that continued life adds to the vibrancy that we really want and that we're really selling," said Aaron Buzza, of Waterloo's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

And as the summer moves on and work on historic buildings, new business and loft apartments continue, so does the excitement of an even brighter future that will continue to make Waterloo, particularly downtown, Iowa proud.

Online Reporter: Chris Carter

Online Producer: Michelle Caldwell

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