Our Town: Peosta is building to prevent bursting at the seams

Peosta is in the midst of a housing boom as hundreds of new residents continue to arrive
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEOSTA, Iowa (KCRG) - Welcome to Peosta, Iowa.

If you’re new, you’re not alone.

“It’s been listed as a bedroom community but I believe that transition is happening right now,” said Peosta’s new mayor, Russ Pfab.

It’s a 20-minute drive to Dubuque, even less depending on your destination.

But this commuter community has fast changed its character from a tiny community within farm country along U.S. Highway 20 to a city that is having a decade’s-long growth spurt that has seen a booming industrial park and housing developments almost everywhere.

“It’s really grown,” admits Peosta resident Cale Waterman.

“30-years ago I think there was maybe 10-homes in Peosta, a church, and maybe a gas station.”

Waterman may be exaggerating, but he isn’t far off.

He and his wife are building this home on Peosta’s east side.

It’s one of 41-homes built over the past year.

It’s helped drive Peosta’s population from 128 in 1990 to 1908 in the 2020 Census.

And since then, the people keep coming.

“I see the city as turning,” said Mayor Pfab, who believes Peosta is growing into more than a bedroom community to Dubuque.

It certainly is growing.

Between 1980 and 1990, just eight people were added to the population of 120 Peosta residents.

By 2000, it was 651 residents.

In 2010, the Census put the population at 1377.

And 1908 in the 2020 Census.

That’s left an impact on the housing market in the city.

“Right now, we’ve got a lot of newer homes going up,” said Mayor Pfab.

“The value of those homes are on the upper end.”

It’s also creating a bedroom community in desperate need of bedrooms.

Higher end housing is being built in newly developed neighborhoods.

But there’s an underserved population desperate for a place to live.

“It hits a pretty big void, I think,” said Wes Schulte, a developer with Merit Development.

His company is building Peosta Square.

When completed in 2023, it will offer 34 apartments and 10 commercial suites just outside the community college and across the street of the industrial park.

It’s meant to help meet the needs of the so-called “missing middle”: the desperately needed affordable housing for an exploding population.

Schulte said it helps fill that need.

“Just create something that’s unique and hits the alignment of the city’s ultimate goals as well.”

This may be part of the future of a bedroom community that wants to be more of a destination point.

“I see the city as turning, is taking on a new personality,” the mayor predicted.

Cale Waterman knows that and that’s why he’s building in Peosta.

“I think it’s up and coming for a lot of people who don’t want to live in the big city but still want some of the big city items.”

Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.