The former Grand Hotel area originally developed as residential homes and later contained a dairy equipment manufacturer from the early-to-mid twentieth century. The site became a hotel in 1963 and remained as such until the late 2000s. It transitioned through several owners during the last decades of its operation. Maintenance and routine investment continually decreased with each new entity. The blighted complex became plagued with crime during its final years. The City of Waterloo worked aggressively to return the underutilized property back to a productive re-use to strengthen its position within the community’s emerging “Sports and Entertainment” district. This included purchasing the property, demolishing all of the remaining structures, and actively marketing the vacant lot for redevelopment.
Project Funding Sources
City of Waterloo (for acquisition, asbestos removal, and demolition)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) (for creation of affordable housing)
EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants (Phase I and II ESAs)
06.2010 | ARTICLE
City purchases former Grand Hotel.
12.2011 | ARTICLE
Demolition and asbestos abatement activities begin.
02.2014 | ARTICLE
$9 million mixed-use project announced.
01.2015 | ARTICLE
Grand Crossings project awarded $3 million in Community Development Block Grant funds.
12.2016 | ARTICLE
Commercial tenants announced and parking variance granted for Grand Crossings.
01.2018 | ARTICLE
Grand Crossings project wins national award.
04.2018 | ARTICLE
2nd Phase of Grand Crossings nearing completion.
05.2018 | ARTICLE
Jimmy John’s restaurant opens at Grand Crossings.
Project Success Story
City officials completed a development agreement with a local developer to build a $9 million mixed-use project on the former Grand Hotel site. This included the construction of a four-story, 68-unit building called the “Grand Crossings” at the corner of Westfield Avenue and Jefferson Street. The loft-style condominiums include 28 one-bedroom units and 40 two-bedroom units- including a portion designated for low-to-moderate income families- with amenities such as a community workout room and underground parking. Its environmentally-friendly design complies with the Iowa Green Streets Guidelines. The award-winning project opened in the summer of 2017. The second phase of the project, completed in 2018, includes commercial space and lofts in a four-story building along Mullan Avenue. Businesses include a Jimmy John’s restaurant and Side Car Coffee. This private investment aligns with the City’s downtown master plan while also creating an exciting synergy with nearby amenities including Young Arena, Cedar Valley SportsPlex, Cedar Valley TechWorks, Iowa Veteran’s Museum, and the future John Deere museum. Visit the Grand Crossings website here.