The large retail and commercial development in Altoona, called Prairie Crossing, has expanded even before construction on the project has started in earnest. Developer Heart of America Group from the Quad Cities said the project, which is adjacent to Bass Pro Shops and visible from Interstate 80, has grown into a 230-acre development with planned residential, retail and commercial components. Prairie Crossing has been in the works for several years and is the brainchild of Heart of America’s Mike Whalen. So far, a Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse — an HOA property — has opened in Prairie Crossing. Separate developers recently have begun construction on a 325,000-square-foot open-air outlet mall on 34 acres in the heart of the property.
During the Congress for New Urbanism’s annual conference in Dallas/Fort Worth April 29 - May 2, Opticos Design, Inc's Dan Parolek sat down with the Strong Towns podcast to talk about urban planning in the San Francisco Bay Area, how to retain the characteristics and qualities of a place that make it unique, and the new Missing Middle Housing website. Strong Towns as an organization seeks to support a model of development that allows America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods to be come financially strong and resilient.
As I reported earlier this year, more and more businesses are choosing to locate in downtowns and walkable suburban locations, in part to attract younger workers who prefer a less car-dependent, more urban lifestyle.