Economic development in Dubuque's Warehouse District - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Economic development in Dubuque's Warehouse District

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - With the economy struggling -- the City of Dubuque hopes to revitalize its economy with one-million square feet of un-used space known as the warehouse district.  A consultant group unveiled phase one of a revitalization plan for the 17-block area.

Artist Jordan DeGree moved from Chicago to open his BrickOven studio here in Dubuque's Warehouse District. "When I first came into the Warehouse District I was kind of curious about it because living in Dubuque I'd never really been down here," said DeGree.

With his business now here, he hopes to build up the district as a perfect way to attract people to Dubuque. "It's gonna decrease the amount of smart, creative and intelligent people that are leaving Dubuque to go to those bigger cities," he said.

Which is exactly what phase one of the proposed revitalization plan aims to do -- turning these three four-story brick buildings into 190 apartments and stores.  "We feel that the reuse of a building is the highest and best way to save the environment.  Why build a new building way out on the skirts of town when we've got underutilized buildings right in our downtown?" said Assistant Economic Development Director Aaron DeJong

Consultants also say living and working in the downtown warehouse district would mean less driving, another benefit for the environment. "Creating that community within a community feel that is, in the long term, a lot more sustainable and environmentally friendly," said DeGree.

One more reason degree and others hope to grow the warehouse district and his business.  Consultants say once infrastructure details are finished, the first phase of the plan could be finished in the next three to five years.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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