The scheduled completion of the Southwest Arterial in 2019 and subsequent removal of the majority of truck traffic from the corridor, combined with the improved resilience of the neighborhood thanks to the Bee Branch Creek Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, will create a prime environment for a renaissance. The purpose of this initiative is to engage stakeholders in the process to prepare for and guide this renaissance.
The initiative’s efforts will be focused on the Central Avenue Corridor from 14th Street to 22nd Street. This corridor connects Dubuque’s central downtown and Historic Millwork District to the city’s North End. It features a wide variety of historic buildings offering commercial and retail opportunities on the ground floor and residential spaces on upper floors.
The goal of this initiative is the economic revitalization of the Central Avenue Corridor through community engagement, educational outreach, and community-informed storefront and streetscape design.
Central Avenue Corridor stakeholders include business owners, employees, patrons, residents, landlords, social service agencies, community leaders, the City of Dubuque, and partner agencies.
The City of Dubuque has entered into a collaborative relationship with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO) to assist the City with this initiative. Specifically, ISUEO will assist with outreach and community engagement efforts, asset mapping of buildings and businesses in the corridor, and identification of additional partnership opportunities.
ISUEO brought students and faculty in the ISU College of Design’s “Seeing, Making, Doing – The Art and Design of Social Capital” course to Dubuque to operate a design studio in the corridor during the spring 2017 semester. Students from a variety of disciplines, such as studio art, graphic design, interior design, landscape design, business, sociology, journalism, and education, worked collaboratively throughout the semester on effective ways to engage communities, facilitate meaningful community discussions, and use art and design with culture to build goodwill and understanding among diverse populations. The studio served as a temporary “project headquarters” and was used to focus efforts on engaging local community members, brainstorming possibilities for a long-term creative placemaking strategy, and planning and implementing a cultural event for the neighborhood in late spring 2017.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds will be used to offer low- or no-interest loans to “microenterprise businesses” in the corridor. Microenterprise businesses have five or fewer employees. To qualify, the business owner(s) must be low to moderate income.
In early April 2017, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and College of Design hosted a cultural event to celebrate the stories and experiences on the Central Avenue Corridor. Free transportation to the event was provided by the City of Dubuque's Public Transit Department.
If you were unable to attend, you can still view information from the event online at www.cacstories.com.