Celebrating Downtown: Highlights from ICDD’s Annual State of the Downtown Meeting and Mission Report

The Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) recently held its Annual State of the Downtown Meeting, unveiling the 2023-2024 Mission Report. This year has been marked by significant milestones and growth for our downtown community, reflecting our commitment to shaping a vibrant and thriving Iowa City.

One of the standout achievements of the past year was navigating our first executive leadership change since the inception of the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) with the new direction led by Betsy Potter. With an increased levy rate, our budget now supports key initiatives outlined in the ICDD Strategic Plan. Despite facing economic uncertainty due to inflation and rising interest rates, downtown Iowa City remains a bustling hub for business, entertainment, and living, as evidenced by the 8.9 million visits recorded this year, a 5.2% increase from the previous year.

Significant investments and partnerships have propelled our progress, including the City’s purchase of the 21 S Linn St lot, the Dubuque Street streetscape update, a new cleaning and hospitality service managed by Block by Block, and leasing a retail recruitment space. Our efforts in creative placemaking, such as the installation of the pickleball court, the mural on Graduate Iowa City by Amos Goldbaum, and the Doors Downtown public art program, have brought new life to public spaces while supporting our local arts scene.

Looking ahead, the ICDD is focused on renewing the Strategic Plan and preparing for the upcoming SSMID renewal in 2026. Our initiatives for the coming year include enhanced retail recruitment, cultural and entertainment district developments, significant investment in cleaning and safety services, and advocacy for improved regional transportation. We are excited about the future and deeply grateful for the continued support of our community, partners, and sponsors. Together, we will ensure that the best is yet to come for Downtown Iowa City.