Results of the Main Street Iowa Community Exchange with Waterloo Main Street

10 Main Street Committee Members from the Waterloo Main Street program visited The DISTRICT in April. While enjoying The District, they were asked by Main Street Iowa to complete a survey about the visitor experience. Jessica Rucker, the Executive Director of the Waterloo Main Street Presented these results Monday Morning.

The District scored highly on the parking experience, visitors loved not worrying about meters, and the wide variety of spaces available. Branding of the District was a highlight once in The DISTRICT, although some visitors needed wayfinding to find their way to The District. Streetscapes, and Park made a wonderful first impression. They found the district vibrant and attractive, and so clean – no litter. Visitors commented that this was a very walkable/pedestiran friendly area with wonderful window displays. The staff in open locations were very friendly with excellent customer service.

Concerns, or areas of improvement included:

  • Wayfinding, especially from the interstate, as well as Gateways well defined
  • Consistency of Store Hours with retailers, and businesses being located on Google Business
  • Retail they would like to see in the future: kitchen store, more Home Goods
  • Wished more was open on a Monday/Tuesday.

Other comments by Waterloo visitors:

  • “charming, clean, very beautiful”
  • “So much to see and do in Czech Village, we realized it wasn’t only a cultural stop.”
  • “Many activities, quaint and adorable”

Visual Preference Open Discussion

Main Street has been working with the City Planners Office and looking at the current City Code, as well as what we would like to see in The District with future developers. We had an open discussion about the current City Code, and any areas of concern. One flag raised in the Current Code is the height of the buildings in New Bohemia and Czech Village. Most of New Bohemia is 6 stories, although along 2nd Street North of lot 44 – 10 stories is allowed. Discussion whether 10 stories sounds reasonable.

Current code includes a storefront overlay – requiring first level retail space along 16th Ave and 3rd Street.

Signage is the district: projection/blade signs are allowed, as well as Sandwich Board Signage.

Any new construction should match the height and mass of existing neighborhood buildings. Traditional, Transitional and Modern Infill Design was discussed, overall those in attendance would like to see good artistic design over cookie cutter design. One in attendance said, “Modern is fine as long as it is unique in New Bohemia, as this is the Arts and Entertainment area of Cedar Rapids.”