IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s the first time the Iowa City Development Authority (IDA) has announced a change in strategy for the city.
It comes after months of public backlash and calls for the IDA to do more to improve community and business opportunities in Iowa’s largest city.
The agency announced Wednesday it will stop using the city’s historic downtown building as its primary development venue.
The city’s planning commission will now vote on whether to approve the decision on Thursday.
The decision was first reported by the Des Moines Register.
The building was used as a gathering place for downtown businesses and residents and was also used as an area for events and community gatherings.
The building, which is a National Historic Landmark, is part of a larger plan to revitalize downtown.
The Iowa City Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new, $1.8 billion development plan earlier this year.
The new plan would see the building converted into a new park.
The board has until Feb. 14 to approve or reject the proposal.
It’s the largest redevelopment plan the IDEA has undertaken.
But the city still has a long way to go.
It has committed to redevelop the downtown area, but not all of it will be done by 2030.
The IDA’s decision comes in the wake of the 2016 city election.
There was a push for a new mayor and city leaders to focus on economic development and revitalization.
The public was outraged at what they saw as a city-led push for development and gentrification, and some said they were not happy with the IDAs plan to stop using downtown as a development venue in favor of a new downtown park.
Critics said the IDAtas decision showed a lack of concern for the needs of its residents and business owners.
“The IDAs decision was an insult to the citizens of Iowa City,” said Mayor Rick Gorman.
“It has now become clear that Iowa City is not going to have a new leader and mayor.
We are going to look for a different person who will listen to our concerns.”
The Iowa Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in December to ask the IDAAA to review its plan and to consider whether to allow it to use the building as a park.
The board has been looking at ways to make it easier for people to move into the city without breaking up the city center, but some have questioned whether that would be the best way to build a neighborhood.
The change in direction has created more confusion.
The new park plan includes a new parking structure and the city has said it will provide more opportunities for people who want to live, work or play within the neighborhood.