Vandewalle team expertise “brings a consistent focus” to Waterloo transformation

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Vandewalle team expertise “brings a consistent focus” to Waterloo transformation

FROM THE CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY: It’s been 16 years since Brian Vandewalle first laid eyes on Waterloo. But the man whose urban planning firm would eventually design a colossal downtown makeover remembers a patchwork of industrial buildings and blight once visible from the elevated section of U.S. Highway 218. The view is dramatically different today with the Cedar Valley SportsPlex, a RiverLoop Expo Plaza providing an open view of the Waterloo Public Library and iconic amphitheater, and far fewer vacant buildings. Marta Purdy, the Vandewalle planner on the project, says more investors are now taking notice of what’s happening downtown. New housing is being constructed at the former Grand Hotel site, and Single Speed Brewing Co. is working to open a brew pub in the former Hostess Wonder Bread bakery. Vandewalle and Associates created the original conceptual plan for Waterloo’s downtown riverfront renaissance in 2000 and has been providing consulting services as the city and Waterloo Development Corp. continue to implement its features. “They’ve brought a consistent focus that’s necessary when you look at the type of projects that needed to be done and the time it takes to do them,” said WDC president Dan Watters. Waterloo has had four mayors and eight city councils since the original downtown plan was developed. Turnover has also occurred on the WDC, a nonprofit group of local business leaders created to work in partnership with the city on downtown development. “You have to keep everybody moving in the same direction,” Watters said. “The expertise (Vandewalle) brings to the table and the ability to maintain that focus from one administration to the next has been invaluable.”

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