End of Month Update: October 28, 2022
Earlier this week, the board of directors for the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission met together for a joint meeting. We annually have this joint meeting as a way to bring together the two parts of our organization for not only the business meeting, but a social opportunity.
In our line of work, we always have one eye on the next thing. Economic development is complicated and requires patience. Nearly every project includes years of planning before its public announcement, and even longer before shovels start moving dirt. I have had the honor of doing this work for many years, but at no point in my career have I been as excited as I currently am with the range of projects we have on the horizon.
The Linc, a $150+ million development along Lincoln Way, includes a hotel and conference center, residential apartments, as well as retail and commercial space. This is a generational project that will transform the landscape of Lincoln Way and have a profound positive impact on Downtown Ames and our entire community. When we couple that with CyTown, the incoming Fitch Family Aquatic Center, and the recently named Steven L. Schainker Plaza (Congratulations to Ames City Manager, Steve Schainker) in front of City Hall, we have a range of projects that will energize our community and serve as catalysts for other opportunities yet to be presented.
Couple all of that with Illinois-based Wyffels Hybrids announcement from last Friday when they named Ames as their expansion location for their warehouse and distribution center and our economic development momentum could not be stronger. The best part about the Wyffels announcement is that it happened because Alliant Energy and the City of Ames have partnered with the Ames Economic Development Commission to create Prairie View Industrial Center – the large-scale industrial corridor in eastern Ames. The timing could not be better as the utility extensions were just completed in this new, promising area, for industrial development. We express gratitude to Wyffels for choosing Ames and appreciation to both Alliant Energy and the City of Ames for helping set the table for future economic development in our market.
It is easy to get excited about these projects. I know that I am. But as I sat in the joint board meeting, I reminded myself to not lose sight of the work that is happening today. As I observed the members at our joint meeting, I saw a room full of dedicated individuals who are united in their passion to make our community great. If you are reading this right now, you are also one of those individuals who have chosen to call our Ames MSA home.
Success does not happen overnight. It requires vision, talent, and a network of supporters. We may not all be business owners, but each one of us contributes to the vibrancy of our community. As we move toward the gift giving season, consider spending your money in our community. It is an investment that makes an immediate impact and contributes to the long-term success of our community.
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