2005 Best Development Award Recipients

New Residential: Peninsula Neighborhood, Iowa City – Peninsula Neighborhood Development Corp.

The Peninsula Neighborhood is mix of home types similar to the historic neighborhoods of cities in the Mississippi River region of the upper Midwest. Like those historic places we admire, this neighborhood is a walkable place with a mixture of home types and historic styles within a 5 minute or so walk of places to shop, work, and recreate. Townhouses, single family homes, condominium flats, and flex homes (live over the store/office) create a rich visual environment while providing elegant places to live for people with a variety of household sizes and lifestyles.

The streets are narrower than most new suburban streets and lined with sidewalks and street trees. This slows automobiles down and makes streets easier to walk across. Sidewalks and street trees provide walkers with a safe, sheltered and beautiful path away from automobile traffic.

Renovated Residential: Van Allen Building , Clinton – InVision Architecture

Vacant for several years and later placed on the National Register of Historic Places; this building was noticed by a not-for-profit developer interested in affordable housing. The plan was to maintain a retail commitment on the ground floor and convert the upper floors into mixed-income housing. Nineteen units were designed occupying the upper three floors of open plan formerly used as retail space.

The building was renovated in a historically appropriate manner. It retains its original hardwood floors, window openings, and trim, and is decorated using many of the original paint colors.

New Commercial/Civic: America ’s River Project, Dubuque – City of Dubuque

America’s River at the Port of Dubuque is a major tourism and cultural attraction that nestles next to the Mississippi River and is thoroughly integrated with historic downtown Dubuque.

Renovated Commercial/Civic: Strand Theater, Grinnell – Jim Ramsey, Strand

Originally built in 1916, the single-screen theater closed in 2002 and the operators suggested it might be economically desirable to build a multiplex on the edge of town, allowing for more parking than the downtown had to offer. A group of local investors (Strand LLC) were gifted the theater by its owners, as well as an adjacent building shell (no roof following a 1998 snowstorm).  They committed to creating a three-plex on the site of the theater plus the adjacent lot.  A local fundraising campaign generated $100,000 to restore the old 1916 facade. The total project exceeded $1.5 million.

The building is a beautiful testament to Grinnell’s commitment to maintaining its historic downtown and making efficient use of its existing infrastructure. The renovation is a delightful integration of historic elements with modern technology.

People United for Responsible Land Use