Business

North Liberty granted $3 million to prep road for GEICO building

Money to help with overhaul of Kansas Avenue

NORTH LIBERTY — The state has approved $3 million in grant funds to North Liberty to help the city prepare for a new GEICO office building.

The Iowa Transportation Commission on Tuesday approved up to $3.07 million in Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy — or RISE — funding to North Liberty to go toward reconstruction of a roughly one-mile stretch of Kansas Avenue.

According to a Tuesday DOT news release, the project is necessary to provide adequate access to GEICO’s future 50,000-square-foot office building planned for a North Liberty office park along Landon Road, east of Interstate 380 and west of Kansas Avenue.

Tracey Mulcahey, North Liberty’s assistant city administrator, said the funds will go toward the city’s $5.6 million overhaul of Kansas Avenue, which includes the construction of a wide sidewalk and roundabout at Kansas Avenue and St. Andrews Drive.

Mulcahey said the GEICO office building, which is expected to have more than 600 work stations, has the potential to bring hundreds of jobs to the growing city.

“It’s a huge addition,” she said. “It can change the whole face of our community.”

The GEICO building is expected to open in April with the city anticipating full completion of the Kansas Avenue overhaul in December 2018.

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As part of the project, GEICO would move employees from its current Coralville office, which has a staff of about 400.

The Iowa DOT news release states the GEICO building will support the creation of 307 new full-time jobs and represents nearly $12 million in associated capital investment.

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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