• 11 Iowa City area development projects to watch in 2019

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    January 02, 2019

    Johnson County and its municipalities are growing quickly. Between 2010 and 2017, Johnson County's population grew by 21,562 people — 25.9 percent. With rapid growth comes demand for new development. 

    The coming year is not short of big projects - whether in the planning, groundbreaking or finishing stages. Reporters Zach Berg and Zachary Oren Smith dive into the projects that will define 2019 and give the status of each.

    Coralville Arena

    coralville arena 2

    A conceptual rendering by JLG Architects of the proposed Iowa Arena on Coralville’s Iowa River Landing. (Photo: JLG Architects / Special to the Press-Citizen)


    No development project in the county is as big as the Coralville Arena. Cost is an estimated $45-$50 million. The structure itself is set to have a 5,000 seat arena that will host University of Iowa volleyball home games, major concerts and could host a US Hockey League team or UI club hockey. 

    It will also boast a five-court field house able to host intramural sports and more. A hotel, museum space, storefronts for restaurants and retail, office space and more will all be part of the development.

    The project broke ground in May, and major construction will start soon. Brian Hixenbaugh, the arena's general manager, said he expects major construction to start very early in 2019.

    The project is slated to open in 2020. Hixenbaugh said he'd like to have events booked for the arena in fall of 2020, with events at the field house being held even earlier. He also hopes to announce naming rights partners in 2019 as well. 

    The arena, located in the Iowa River Landing at the intersection of East Ninth Street and East Second Avenue, is projected to bring in  $190 million in development. 

    The arena has garnered funding from several sources over the years. The Iowa Economic Development Authority committed $12 million to the project in 2016. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors pledged $200,000 for the arena project in 2016 as well. 


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