City of Dubuque Looking for "South Port" Redevelopment Input
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE - Dubuque's waterfront is in the process of another major makeover. The city outlined its multi-phased redevelopment plan ten years ago. That plan came to life with the $400 million the city invested in the North Port.
Now, the city is ready to begin Phase 2, with the redevelopment of the South Port. That's the 33 acres of riverfront property between the Ice Harbor and the railroad tracks.
Inside the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, visitors check out the big fish and new exhibits.
But for some visitors, what's been happening outside the museum is just as impressive.
Nancy Burmeister of Waterloo said, "it's probably been 10 or 11 years since we've been here and a lot has changed. None of this was here. They were just in the process of building this."
As you cross the Mississippi River from Illinois into Dubuque, the area right next to the base of the bridge is referred to as the South Port of Dubuque.
CIty of Dubuque Planning Services Manager Laura Carstens said, "the area doesn't have a lot of aesthetic appeal. It's an industrial area without really any amenities."
The city owns much of the land an leases it to several local industrial businesses. City leaders have a master plan that includes relocating those businesses.
Carstens said, "We have a lot of areas that really aren't utilized anymore. We have brownfield sites which means there's some environmental contaminants we are monitoring to make sure it's all been cleared up. "
According to that master plan, crews would transform the area into something similar to the North Port of Dubuque.
But now city leaders wonder if that's what Dubuque really needs.
Carstens said, "it may not look like the North Port. It may not look like the adopted plan. Or it might. And that's what we are exploring. "
The city does have money available for redevelopment projects, if needed. But, like they did with the North Port project, city leaders hope to partner with private investors.
If you'd like to have a say in what happens to that property in Dubuque, you can share your ideas next week.
There will be a public input meeting Thursday October 25, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.
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