North Liberty: An Incubator for Ideas
Nestled in the heart of the Creative Corridor, North Liberty’s dedication to growing its business community and its advantageous location between Cedar Rapids and North Liberty make it a welcoming place to open a business. Whether you’re opening your first venture or expanding into new territory, North Liberty is the place to do it for these reasons and more.
Great Location Options
Take your pick of locations in North Liberty that fit your needs, from land for a new structure to a floor in an existing building. One prize location is Penn Landing, a centrally located spot off the corner of Highway 965 and Penn Street with over 60,000 square feet of leasable space. Current tenants range from several restaurants to a dance studio, a chiropractic center and a branch of University of Iowa QuickCare. The space is also home to the popular North Liberty Farmer’s Market, a great opportunity to get your business in front of people who may or may not already patronize your Penn Landing neighbors.
Flexibility for Startups
North Liberty’s Liberty Plaza is home to the North Liberty CoLab, a coworking space founded in nearby Iowa City. It boasts “blazing internet” as well as meeting rooms and a members-only break room. The laid-back environment is the perfect spot for start-up developers to hatch their next great idea, as well as anyone else who needs to network and collaborate without having to report to a permanent office. The CoLab’s partnership with the Entrepreneurial Development Center of Cedar Rapids delivers “Advance in 60” presentations to inspire members to grow their businesses to the next level.
A Playful Attitude
For several years in a row, North Liberty has been named one of the most playful cities in America by KaBOOM!, an organization promoting communities that utilize play concepts for all ages. The Playful City USA designation would not have been possible without North Liberty’s trail network, plentiful playgrounds, youth triathlons and innovative Parks and Recreation departments, all of which contribute to a welcoming atmosphere where families want to live. Opening a business here means tapping into a network of happy, engaged citizens who love where they live.
Help to Get Started
The University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center partnered with North Liberty to encourage and advise small businesses in the city. The program also includes gap financing to help underfunded projects get off the ground; loans of up to $25,000 can be used to create or retain permanent jobs, make investments into the city’s tax base or provide unique services. The program is aimed at attracting innovators to invest in the area.
Investment in Infrastructure
Recent improvements to Highway 965 addressed traffic flow and safety at one central intersection and redesigned another to add five lanes, a trail, pedestrian walkways and lighting. The overhaul promises to improve both the aesthetic appeal and ease of travel of the major thoroughfare, which sees nearly 16,000 cars, trucks and semis every day. A new interchange near Forevergreen Road is likely to increase activity and boost economic development in the area, especially since its proximity to Interstate 80 and the interchange with Interstate 380 make it readily accessible.