A series of business projects, celebrations and community improvements have helped make downtown Bettendorf a “thriving” place. That’s the message from Ryan Jantzi, executive director of the Downtown Bettendorf Organization (DBO).
The DBO recently wrapped up its 2022 fiscal year with a list of accomplishments, including eight new businesses, more than $277,000 in building improvements, record housing occupancy, new events, the “Bett on Downtown” marketing campaign and its strong relationship with the city, he said.
“We’ve worked together in the past year on code enforcement, graffiti, parks and right-of-way maintenance, signage and the Downtown Master Plan. Collaboration and communication are creating a thriving Downtown Bettendorf where people want to live, work and play, and we have so much more to look forward to,” added Mr. Jantzi.
The DBO official added: “The old I-74 bridge is due for demolition this winter and construction of the Urban Park is underway. All of this will open new land for development and create more opportunities on the west side of the bridge.”
Some of the highlights noted by Mr. Jantzi include:
Business and Economic Growth
- Completion of the TBK Bank Building and the opening of REPAY increased the number of people working in downtown Bettendorf.
- Eight new businesses: The Quad Cities Regional Business Journal, Bettendorf Disc Center, C&W Trucking and Son’s, Linen and Light, Once Again Furniture, Precious Paws Veterinary Hospital, Prosper Salon and Spa, and Yoso.
- Two business retentions: Platinum Salon and Riverside Grille.
- $50,000 in façade and interior grants were awarded to six businesses, leveraging $277,627 in building improvements.
- Thousands attended Be Downtown and the Food Truck Fight, and the Hand-In-Hand concert this fall may draw even more people to the city’s core to discover and support its businesses.
Infrastructure and Livability
- Downtown housing occupancy continues to climb and now stands at 98.7%, which is the highest occupancy rate in the region.
- The city’s core could support another 425 market-rate units and 100 affordable housing units within the next five years.
- Downtown Bettendorf is the I-74 gateway into Iowa and DBO continued its beautification efforts through litter collection, weed control, graffiti removal, Be the Light Park maintenance and cleaning and inspections of the new I-74 bike path and oculus.
- The hanging baskets pilot program will expand and include 40 additional baskets next summer
Advocacy and Promotion
- The Bett on Downtown commercial was completed and continues to air in markets in and outside the region.
- Social media promotion of Be Downtown, the culminating event to the city’s 52722 celebration, sparked a four-fold increase in DBO website traffic.
- DBO will build on the success of the Deck the Downtowns window displays and holiday promotions with even more this year.
Looking forward, Mr. Jantzi said the DBO and the city will continue to work together to update and strengthen the Master Plan and complete a Healthy Hometown Walkability Study. Funding for façade and interior grants will increase to $75,000 this year and two properties are already working on grant applications. In addition, DBO will hire a seasonal cleaning ambassador this year and Urban Park construction is underway.
Mr. Jantzi said the DBO is a community that is unified by a common interest – the success and continued redevelopment of the downtown – and he thanked the downtown stakeholders for their support.
“The DBO works for you. With continued communication and collaboration from invested stakeholders, we will continue to build a downtown Bettendorf where all can thrive,” he added.