City Council approved acquisition of the former Wonder Bread located at 325 Commercial Street in December 2014. This action ensures any future redevelopment will be compatible with the City’s downtown vision. Officials are currently working with several key stakeholders, including the historic preservation committee and Main Street Waterloo, to identify a potential re-use for the 0.94-acre site. The vacant structure represents a critical component to the revitalization of the “Arts Zone” highlighted in the downtown Master Plan. Adjacent public facilities include the library, children’s museum, riverfront amphitheater, and indoor farmer’s market.
The bakery, originally built in 1927, closed in November 2012 amidst bankruptcy proceedings. Historical uses in the area such as a filling station, dry cleaner, garage, creamery, tractor manufacturer, and paint shop raised the potential for contamination. City officials secured $3,100 in Iowa Department of Natural Resources 128-A program funding to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) on the property prior to purchase. A subsequent Phase II ESA helped further ease concerns.