CBJ Report: 'International village' planned for southeast Coralville

CBJ Report

Every week, the Corridor Business Journal shares stories it's working on with CBS 2 News. Here are some of their top stories that will appear in Monday's edition of the CBJ.

'International village' planned for southeast Coralville

Southeast Coralville could become home to a new mixed-use “international village,” replete with shops, a retirement community and a hotel under a plan being considered by city staff and council members.

The 17-acre commercial site at the southwest corner of Second Street and First Avenue is presently occupied by multiple businesses, including Taco John’s restaurant and Tallgrass office supply, as well as a small number of residences.

Last summer, the city hired Mark Brockway of Brockway Land Planning Associates to develop a master plan for the area, officially dubbed the Southeast Commercial District. A community plan adopted by the city in 2014 describes the district as the “premiere gateway” into Coralville from the University of Iowa. Conversely, the plan by Houseal Lavigne Associates of Chicago also describes the area as having several dated strip malls and deep setbacks, with an overabundance of curb cuts hindering traffic.

“Redevelopment opportunities and complete street design will create positive change that can stir economic development to this iconic area,” the plan states.

Despite some of those issues, the traffic on Second Street may also be the area’s best commercial asset. Mr. Brockway estimates that 100,000 vehicles drive through the intersection of First Avenue and Second Street, also called Highway 6.

“Which is pretty much second to none, from a market opportunity,” he said.

The site also has about 4,000 residents within walking distance. The master plan presented last month would bring an additional 1,000 residents to the area.

Women-led businesses to present at 1 Million Cups this month

The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City 1 Million Cups will feature eight women presenters for Female Founders in February.

"I've walked into networking events and pitch competitions and other startup events and been the only female or the women would be outnumbered 10-1," 1 Million Cups co-organizer Jessalyn Holdcraft stated in a press release. "That's why I was determined to feature a month of female founders; it makes our entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to half of the population."

The featured female founders have businesses and events across the Corridor, including a fashion show, delectable dumplings, the state's largest gathering of entrepreneurs and a local-focused wedding registry. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday from 9-10 a.m. with the location rotating between the Geonetric building Cedar Rapids and the MidWestOne Bank building in Iowa City. The Female Founders schedule includes:

• Feb. 1, Iowa City: Show & Tell Downtown Lingerie Fashion Show, Abigail Rawson of Rawson's Daughter and Cat Cantrill of Vitality Fitness and Dance Studio; and Over the Heart, Caroline Edmunds-Diez

• Feb: 8, Cedar Rapids: Be Leaderly: Jo Miller and Angie Klein; and Dumpling Darling, Lesley Triplett

• Feb. 15, Iowa City: Full Circle Wellness: Samantha Ferm; and EntreFEST, Jill Wilkins

• Feb. 22, Cedar Rapids: MarryMyCity, Kaitlin Byers and Tallis Strub; and Kick Ass Red Lipstick: Cat Cantrill

In addition to Female Founders in February, other themed 1 Million Cups months have included Artists in April, University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) teams in June and July and Sustainability in November.

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