Waterloo, Iowa Manufacturing Reuse and Downtown Rebuilding

This is Waterloo anew…

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. 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 housing at the former Grand Hotel site, new downtown detilations at the Riverloop Amphitheater, Riverloop Expo Grounds and Arts Mall, and the new Single Speed Brewery in the former Hostess Wonder Bread bakery. 

The results: A revitalized riverfront and downtown. Total public and private investment is now over $200 million in downtown Waterloo