More than 400 acres of land have been accumulated for a mixed-use project, as well as for future growth, near the juncture of Tiffin, Coralville and North Liberty, by the new Forevergreen Road interchange on Interstate 380.
Ders Group of North Liberty has been acquiring land and building the utility and transportation infrastructure over the past five years for Park Place. The 265-acre mixed-use project is intended to include apartments, houses, hotels, offices and restaurants.
Alex Andersen, co-owner of the Ders Group, said construction is expected to begin in early spring on the first of multiple mixed-use buildings in what is being called “Downtown.”
“It will have apartments and first-floor commercial,” Andersen said. “We’re also working with people who want to open a restaurant.
“For the past year, we have been working with a large retailer that plans to break ground in April for a 185,000-square-foot building. The company, which we have under contract, is projecting to do about $2 million a week in sales.”
Anderson declined to identify the retailer, which he said is not currently operating in the area.
Nick Andersen, founder of the Ders Group, said the retailer hopes to be ready to open when the Iowa Department of Transportation completes the entrance and exit ramps for the Forevergreen Road interchange in the fall of 2019.
The Ders Group has sold 50 of 64 lots for new home construction, which began earlier this year. Veritas Church of Iowa City purchased a parcel of land and constructed a building at 700 W. Forevergreen Road to house a growing congregation and college ministry.
“The church opened two months ago and has 900 members,” Alex Andersen said.
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While Tiffin, Coralville and North Liberty all have experienced strong growth in recent decades, Tiffin has seen its population expand 72 percent, to 3,361 residents in 2017 from 1,947 in 2010.
“Tiffin was ranked earlier this year as the fastest-growing city in the state,” Nick Andersen said. “The population is expected to top 4,000 by 2020 and 12,000 by 2030.
“A second new elementary school is under construction,” he said. “There already is talk of building a new high school and converting the existing high school to a junior high school.”
The Andersens, who are brothers, have previous experience developing commercial and residential projects in the Corridor, elsewhere in Iowa and in surrounding states. Their father, Scott Andersen, has been involved with real estate for more than 30 years building houses and developing large-scale commercial projects.