Work in progress at Iowa River Landing and along Coralville's First Avenue

'It'll be a different place each year'

Construction is underway on a mixed-use building adjacent to Xtream Arena in Coralville on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (L
Construction is underway on a mixed-use building adjacent to Xtream Arena in Coralville on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Though stretches of much of Iowa River Landing’s footprint — a majority of its commercial inhabitants being restaurants and retailers — aren’t nearly as a busy as they were earlier this month, there’s still a lot of work going on along First Avenue, heading south to Second Street.

Those food-and-beverage-serving Coralville businesses are heeding Gov. Kim Reynolds’ March 17 declaration of a statewide health disaster emergency, in response to the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus.

Statewide, bars are temporarily closed and many restaurants are offering delivery and/or carry-out service.

But at IRL’s center, the 180-acre district’s final anchor tenant — the $71.3 million Xtream Arena and the GreenState Family Fieldhouse — is in the works, and remain slated for completion in August. In all, developers project more than $190 million in investment in the IRL area.

The 238,000-square-foot venue has 5,100 seats, with a concert capacity of 6,600, and will play host to a range of sporting events, including for Iowa women’s volleyball and the 2021 Iowa girls’ state wrestling championships.

With five full-size basketball courts, the fieldhouse is expected to attract 250,000 visitors in its first year.

“There’s a lot of opportunity with this particular development because there’s not a venue that’s like it certainly in our community and arguably in Eastern Iowa,” said Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Visitors Bureau.

“It’s going to bring a tremendous amount of attention and visitors and their dollars to Coralville and the larger community, which is a very good thing.”

Existing anchor tenants that have opened at Iowa River Landing since August 2006 include the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Von Maur department store and Trader Joe’s grocery store.

To the arena’s west side, North Liberty-based Kinseth Hospitality Cos. is building an 124-room Staybridge Suites hotel, encompassing just under 100,000 square feet and floors three through five of a six-story, mixed-use building.

The $17.1 million project’s first floor will have retail space, while its second floor will serve as office space for Kinseth and the top floor will be condos, Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said.

Work on the hotel is scheduled to be completed in March 2021, he said.

And IRL Parkview Investments, which shares an Iowa City address with Hodge Construction, in mid-February bought a one-acre vacant lot near Von Maur, property records show.

The city of Coralville sold the lot for $468,382, Hayworth said. He indicated construction currently is ongoing there for a 42-unit, $6.35 million residential building — the first of several planned buildings for the Parkview Apartment site.

Of the district, Hayworth said, “I think you’ll continue to see changes over the next four to five years, that work will continue on new things added and new developments there. It’ll be a different place each year as you come back.”

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