From downtown opportunity analysis to more than $200M in new investment
CLIENT: City of Waterloo, Iowa; Waterloo Development Corporation, Deere & Co.
NEED: The City of Waterloo, a mid-sized, Deere & Co. built-city, needed to reinvigorate its riverfront downtown and bring back new vibrancy. The City asked Vandewalle & Associates to do a downtown opportunity analysis and to uncover and tee up catalytic projects for implementation in the decades to come.
ROLE + SERVICES: In the last two decades the City of Waterloo, the WDC, and Vandewalle & Associates have achieved a remarkable transformation and have invented processes that can be applied to retool many manufacturing-driven Midwestern cities. Vandewalle & Associates’ roles have included helping to identify economic opportunities, shaping a powerful vision, devising catalytic projects with great added value for the region, managing implementation, forging public-private partnerships … and helping procure over $20 million in project funding to make it happen.
- Repurposing former John Deere Manufacturing: TechWorks, a new business incubator and co-working center. In 2004, Vandewalle & Associates helped to prepare an application to the State of Iowa for the rehabilitation of former John Deere buildings into the Cedar Valley TechWorks to be used as a national showcase for emerging industry. Leveraging the massive Deere-donated land and structures, the project was ultimately awarded $3.2 million in IEDA funding to renovate the existing buildings and pursue new industry tenants and exhibitors.
- The new John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum opened its doors on the TechWorks Campus in 2014. Nearly seven in the making–from site planning to Experience design, building reuse/construction to exhibit fabrication–the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum engages visitors of all ages with a number of unique, interactive exhibits.
- In 2018 an extensively renovated Tech 2 building opened as a new Courtyard Marriott Hotel.
- Implementation projects continue throughout downtown: Other projects are bringing more people and activity downtown including downtown housing at the former Grand Hotel site, new Riverloop Amphitheater, Riverloop Expo Grounds and Arts Mall, a new Five Sullivan Brothers Memorial at the Waterloo Convention Center, River Lights, and the new Single Speed Brewery in the former Hostess Wonder Bread bakery.
IMPACT + RESULTS: A revitalized riverfront and downtown. In the last two decades the City of Waterloo, the WDC, and Vandewalle & Associates have achieved a remarkable transformation of this mid-sized city–and in so doing have invented processes that can be applied to retool many manufacturing-driven Midwestern cities. Total public and private investment is now over $200 million in downtown Waterloo.