Inspire Downtown to launch Wednesday

BY JULIA SHRIVER | JUNE 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Over the next year, the city of Iowa City and the Iowa City Downtown District will be looking to the future of public spaces within the central business district.

Inspire Downtown, a series of community think-tank workshops, will host two outreach meetings on June 26.

The first meeting, a breakfast for downtown and Northside Marketplace business and property owners, will focus on input on materials presented by the Streetscape Update consultants from 8:30-10:00 p.m.  

A public open discussion is also slated to be held at the Iowa City Public Library on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The meeting is a follow up to the recent IC Progress Celebration that was held Thursday at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., which culminated the first-year progress of the Iowa City Downtown District while discussing potential future investments.

The non-profit organization is dedicated to projects that assist the downtown area with its businesses and promote its notoriety as a cultural and social center.  

The city is working with the Iowa City Downtown District and members of the community to seek input on public spaces downtown to plan future developments in the area.

Funded by downtown property taxes and UI financial support, the organization has been responsible for numerous community-buildings initiatives, including the Tree Huggers project last fall and annual events such as Taste of Iowa City and Celebrate the Season.  

Seeking to expand its outreach, the organization encourages members of the community to participate in its events as well as provide feedback on what they like about downtown and what they would like to see in the future.

”There should be more malls [with clothing stores] “like Macy's and Burlington [Coat Factory],” incoming University of Iowa freshman Waale Gbara said of what improvements she would like to see downtown.

Veronica Tessler, owner of Yotopia Frozen Yogurt, 132 S. Clinton St., said Inspire Downtown offers a collective plane for future discussions.

“This will be a great opportunity to get voices from downtown stakeholders to discuss the future of what public spaces downtown will look like,” she said.

Those interested in sharing ideas with the Inspire Downtown online exchange should visit www.inspiredowntownic.com

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