PDI Blog

PDI's Blog will include legislative news, economic development news headlines, messages from our PDI President and other topics contributed by our membership. Choose from the list of contributors and categories, listed to the right,  to find the type of articles you are interested in.

Iowa Finance Authority Housing Study Public Meetings

The Iowa Finance Authority is conducting a comprehensive, statewide housing study in partnership with RDG Planning & Design in order to better understand the current and future housing needs of Iowans. The study includes public forums and expert round tables throughout the state, as well as data analysis of the current housing stock.The results of this study will assist the Iowa Finance Authority in strategic planning to best serve the current needs of Iowans....

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Governor Branstad and Director Durham Led Trade Mission to Brazil and Chile

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad and Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham led a trade mission to Brazil and Chile July 21-28 with the aim of expanding trade and investment opportunities. The governor and IEDA director were accompanied by representatives from Iowa companies....

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Grant Writing Training

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives is Offering [GRANT WRITING TRAINING] LEARN HOW TO PREPARE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION Discover how to develop a solid grant proposal, perform group activities to enhance the learning experience and find federal funding opportunities. HUD's Grant Writing Training is for agencies and nonprofits who are seeking information on how to develop a grant application for funding to support a proposed program or project....

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Premier Business Class Hotel to Fly Flag Over The Green@TechWorks

Also, Hawkeye Community College ‘Green’ Programs Locate at TechWorks

Today, TechWorks Campus, a division of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, together with Financial District Properties (FDP) revealed the hotel and management company to crown the six floors of the Tech 2 building. Simultaneously, they also announced a commitment from Hawkeye Community college to locate “green” technology classrooms and laboratories on the campus as well. Both announcements represent significant steps in the continued progress of developing The Green@TechWorks project.

The hotel will cater to the modern business traveler and event attendees with a design that accentuates the campus theme, mixing industrial history with advanced technologies. Amenities at similar hotel properties include an indoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness and spa facility. Sophisticated rooms equipped with Internet access, flat-screen TVs and lavish bath amenities are expected at the Waterloo location as well.

The Green project developer, FDP, selected The Amin Group, a leading national hotel management and real estate development company, as the hotel operator because of its success in similar projects and locations including the management of the Radisson on the John Deere Commons in Moline, IL.

Managing Partner Mike Amin of the Amin Group, shared comments at the announcement and was accompanied by three other members of The Amin Group management team. Over the last 25 years Mike has guided the company’s growth and diverse portfolio of properties including hotels, commercial and retail developments, residential projects, lounges and restaurants. Brands represented include Radisson and Wyndham products, Best Western, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Homewood Suites, Double Tree Hotels, LaQuinta Inn and Suites, as well as boutique and independent operations. These properties vary in size, revenues and operational complexity.


Aaron Buzza, Executive Director Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau, commented on the significance of the hotel announcement, “The new hotel at TechWorks is an incredibly exciting development for downtown Waterloo. The hotel will add to the supply of hotel rooms in Waterloo, but the hotel flag adds a unique product that isn’t currently available. With the activities on the TechWorks Campus, we see the impact of this hotel being significant.”

Hawkeye Community College ‘Green’ Programs Locate at TechWorks

Hawkeye Community College also announced their plans to locate classrooms and labs at The Green @ TechWorks to accommodate two new “green” curriculum offerings-- the Alternative Energy Technologies Training & Education Program and the proposed Sustainable Construction Program.

“Hawkeye Community College is thrilled to be a part of the TechWorks campus project. The physical space for our two new programs is still in design, but these programs are in perfect alignment with the Green technologies focus of the TechWorks Campus.” commented Linda Allen --President, Hawkeye Community College. In implementing its vision for The Green project, Financial District Properties has made a commitment to renovate the Tech II building to at least a gold level of LEED certification. The development team is pleased that Hawkeye Community College recognizes and supports the educational opportunities that will be created by learning and using “green” technologies in a “green” and sustainable environment.

The Green & Overall Project

The Green@TechWorks is part of the larger 43 acre TechWorks campus. In addition to the Tech l and Tech II buildings (formerly John Deere Westfield R & C2) the campus includes parcels suitable for larger scale manufacturing facilities. TechWorks is the first technology park of its kind in the Iowa to combine world class business amenities within a Brownfield industrial redevelopment project. The campus will also integrate a unique renewable energy generation system that promotes “green” energy technologies.

Other projects already announced as part of the $50 million capital investment at The Green include a John Deere Regional Training Center and a Wasendorf owned fine dining restaurant. Concurrently, adjacent to the TechWorks Campus, the John Deere Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum is nearing construction with a projected opening for Spring, 2013. UNI’s National Ag-Based Lubricants Center established operations in Tech I nearly three years ago.

Construction of The Green @ TechWorks Campus is scheduled to begin this fall with a projected hotel opening in late 2013 – early 2014.


Steve Dust, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, Chamber and TechWorks is pleased with the progress and positioning. “The pieces of the TechWorks Campus are coming together right on schedule. Our efforts, along with the statewide push to position Iowa as a bio research and technology hub is paying off. FDP and The Amin Group would not have come here unless they too recognized the Cedar Valley as a region positioned for tremendous economic growth. Their confidence, and the support of higher education partners like Hawkeye Community College and others, is an endorsement of the ambitious vision of this project. There are more exciting announcements like this come! ”

Development Team Contacts:

The Green@TechWorks - Financial District Properties: Bryce Henderson 563-324-9898
City of Waterloo Economic Development Director Noel Anderson 319-291-4366
Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus: General Manager, Cary Darrah 319-232-1156
Hawkeye Community College: President, Linda Allen 319- 296-4201

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for new Distribution Center in Spencer

200,000 square foot facility to be in operation by fall

SPENCER, Iowa – Community and business leaders from Spencer and the Iowa Lakes Corridor region celebrated the groundbreaking of a regional distribution center on May 25th in the Spencer Green Industrial Center. Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, will ship corn and soybean seed products from the 200,000 square foot facility, which is slated for completion and occupancy in October.

“We are proud of the continued demand for our top performance products and services, and look forward to a larger presence in the Spencer community,” said Todd Frazier, Pioneer business director for Iowa and Missouri. “This regional distribution center will help us meet our customer needs.”

The Pioneer facility is the second building to be constructed in the Green Industrial Center. About 140 acres remain for other development as well as 70 acres in the Spencer Tech Park South on the west side of Spencer.

“We are proud that Pioneer selected Spencer and the Iowa Lakes Corridor region for this new distribution center,” said Mayor Reynold Peterson. “Pioneer is a great company and we thank them for their faith in our community and making this investment here.”

“This project involved many local partners working together to attract this kind of investment and this celebration today,” said Kath Evert, president and chief executive officer of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. “We thank Spencer Municipal Utilities and the City of Spencer for their leadership in creating and developing the Green Industrial Center, the Spencer City Council and staff for the quality business climate they have created here, our partners in the Iowa Area Development Group, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Black Hills Energy for their assistance and support of this project.”

This warehouse announcement is in addition to several recent Pioneer expansion projects in Iowa, including a new corn research center in Orange City, a new research facility in Johnston, and an expanded corn research facility in Dallas Center.

Photo caption: Kathy Evert, president and chief executive officer of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation presents Gary Hamer of Pioneer with a Bogenrief vase to welcome Pioneer to Spencer and the Iowa Lakes Corridor region.


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