Coralville looks to expand business in Iowa River Landing area

Hoping to go from 60 to 100 businesses and retailers in the area, the City of Coralville looks to put its name on the map and attract tourists and prospective residents.


Ryan Adams

One of the locations of new development next to the Xtream Arena is seen on Thursday, October 29, 2020.

Claire Benson, News Reporter

With Coralville’s new 6,800-capacity venue Xtream Arena looking attracting visitors to the Iowa River Landing area, The City of Coralville is currently in the works to expand the number of businesses in the area.

There are currently 60 businesses around the Iowa River Landing, which the city hopes to expand to 100.

Director of Leasing for Iowa River Landing Deanna Trumbull said that this business expansion has been incremental over the past few years and will continue to operate in a similar fashion. Trumbull said as new businesses and retailers set up shop in the area, this encourages others to do the same.

“Now that the arena’s open, it will bring opportunity for more retailers, not only location wise which we’ve got retail space along the outside of the arena but additional traffic,” Trumbull said. “More people coming into the project helps to create the demand for the retail stores, so that’s really the plan as we move forward is to continue to build and develop south of Main Street.”

Trumbull said during this expansion project, there have been some setbacks with COVID-19 interrupting regular business operations and visitors’ schedules, however, the businesses and retailers in the area have adapted well to this, she said.

“It’s definitely a challenge to all of us at a time when we’d like to see a lot more traffic, we’d like to see people comfortable going out and about, I think right now, we’re all understanding COVID-19 a little bit more and we’re adjusting our protocols for people shopping,” Trumbull said. “Our retailers are starting to understand how to best serve their customers within the project.”

Trumbull said this project is taking a supply and demand perspective into consideration when adding new storefronts within the Iowa River Landing area.

“Although there is a vision and a plan for it, it’s really been developed so that it can morph over time based on what the community and the people coming into town are looking for,” she said.

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Trumbull said developing the area into a space that meets the needs of both the local community and prospective visitors is something this expansion project will prioritize.

“Our intent here is to add to this community with this development that brings more people in and gives more opportunities for the local customers and residents in the area and helps to continue to put Coralville and Iowa City on the map,” Trumbull said. “It’s really a way to grow our entire community through addressing the needs and making an impact through that.”

Iowa City Area Development President Kate Moreland said this business expansion project in the Iowa River Landing intertwines with ICAD’s most recent business campaign, which aims to focus on developing business, community, and people in the Iowa City area.

“It’s part of the community development side of things, because it becomes a key area to attract people to our region,” Moreland said. “That growth will just further enhance that area of our community, it definitely fits in with our goals for our overall region, which is to be forward thinking and increase those attraction opportunities for business and people.”

Commercial Property Manager at the Watts Group, Tony Rubino, said that the Watts Group manages the Iowa River Landing area for the City of Coralville. Rubino said the group handles different aspects such as maintenance, engaging with the tenants, and marketing the businesses located in the area.

Rubino said recently built structures, such as Xtream arena, will aid in attracting businesses and retailers to relocate to the area.

“They all kind of work together,” Rubino said. “The arena should help attract tenants that want to be down in that area that feed off the activity from the arena.”

Rubino said he believes the expansion will not only attract more tourists and potential residents, but it will also positively impact the local economy.

“I think it’s going to continue to grow the area,” Rubino said. “The retailers sales contribute to the local tax base, and it just becomes more of a destination for attracting residents and tourists to the area.”