Mixed Use: Crescent Community Health Center/Washington Court Apartments/Project Concern, Dubuque
The Washington Court Apartments, Crescent Community Health Center, and Project Concern building is the final product of the renovated former Dubuque Casket Company building. The developers and award recipients for the project are Dubuque-based Gronen Restoration, Inc., and Community Housing Initiatives, Inc., based in Spencer. The re-use of the historic Dubuque Casket Company building put 6,500 feet of previously abandoned space back into use as a mixed-use activity center. The creation of high quality-housing, healthcare, and other services for low-income households were a key component of the Washington Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. The services for low-income households are within walking distance or an easy bus ride for many of the Crescent Community Health Center and Project Concern’s target populations.
Renovated Commercial: Staw Center for Culture and Commerce, Elkader
Staw Center for Culture and Commerce in Elkader, owned by award recipient Adam Pollock, is boosting the community’s economy and promoting heritage tourism in downtown Elkader. Built in 1914, this building is within walking distance of four other historical buildings in downtown Elkader. The city of Elkader has been a community in the Main Street Iowa program since 1991 and this project was awarded a Main Street Challenge Grant of $48,000 to assist in the rehabilitation. The majority of the materials and labor for the rehabilitation were purchased within a 50-mile radius of Elkader. In addition to having room for Pollock’s own business, Fire Farm Lighting, and renovating 11,000 square feet for light industrial and distribution space, the project also provides 6,500 square feet in new storefront retail space and the upstairs can function as a gallery with an artist studio space.
Renovated Residential: Davenport Lofts, Davenport
Davenport Lofts consist of three buildings in downtown Davenport and were developed by award recipient the Alexander Company based in Madison, Wisconsin. Davenport Lofts provide affordable housing that is walking distance of multiple forms of transit, major employers, and communal activities downtown. The project is part of the Crescent Warehouse Historic District which has suffered from neglect after industrial businesses located near highways instead of in the historic district. The Davenport Lofts have resulted in an investment of 23 million dollars and has brought these historic buildings back to use. They consist of 126 units in three buildings, with an additional 169 units planned in other buildings undergoing rehabilitation. The lofts contribute to a variety of housing options, offering a unique housing style to the Quad Cities. Loft-style housing is attractive to companies trying to recruit from larger metropolitan areas where lofts are more prevalent.
New Commercial and New Residential: Silver Shores, Lake Park
Silver Shores is a residential and commercial development with lakeshore properties and was developed by award recipient August (Auggie) Scheppmann of Spirit Lake. Silver Shores is located inside the city limits of Lake Park near Silver Lake and is served efficiently with public sewer and city water. There are 65 residential lots, a church and 15 commercial lots including a bank and farm implement dealer. The entire 155-acre development drains to a restored wetland, which then drains to a high-quality established wetland. This design protects the established wetland from storm water run-off, preserving existing wildlife and water quality. The lakefront was the only place where water was not being treated, so Scheppmann created a wall that would temporarily hold water and then flow through a tile to one of the restored wetlands. This prevents any storm water from getting to the lake before being treated.
Leadership: City of Okoboji and Low Impact Development in the Zoning Ordinance
The city of Okoboji took on the task to change their zoning ordinance in May 2006 to incorporate Low Impact Development (LID) principles. These changes are intended to protect the lakes from environmental impacts of new development as well as redevelopment within the city. The changes in the ordinance require developers to address post construction storm water runoff using LID practices. The ordinance prevents development from occurring in wetland soils as determined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Survey. Existing wetlands and green spaces receive protection through the ordinance, providing valuable open space and protection for water quality. The ordinance also requires that any new developments must retain and infiltrate at least a 1.5-inch rain event on site using Low Impact Development concepts and designs. The same will be required for all building permits by 2009 for redevelopment sites. These provisions are so unique that other cities in Iowa are using the ordinance as a guide to follow.