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Iowa West, partners celebrate ‘Topping Off’ of office building

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The next step in construction work on the “doorway to southwest Iowa” was taken Thursday morning.

Officials gathered for a “Topping Off” celebration at the building that will house the Iowa West Foundation at the River’s Edge development along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs. Construction crews placed the final steel beam for the four-story structure.

“This is an exciting day,” said Iowa West President and CEO Pete Tulipana, noting the partnership between Iowa West and the developer overseeing the project, Noddle Companies, designer HDR and Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County leadership.

Construction on the 67,000-square-foot office building is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Tulipana said Iowa West hopes to move into the facility in early 2019.

“What’s exciting to me is the opportunity the work will create for Council Bluffs,” Tulipana said. “A first-class development attractive to both young people and older people. Very walkable. Very unique for Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa.

“A great front door for our community.”

The facility will have a first floor lobby with a “living wall” made up of plants. The design won an excellence award from the American Institute of Architects, according to Ted Zetzman with Noddle Companies.

“There’s a lot of momentum here at River’s Edge,” Zetzman said. “This is a regional attraction.”

Work at the River’s Edge site continues. Broadmoor Apartments is building a facility with around 270 apartments and 30 town homes. A 743-space parking garage is being built as well. The River’s Edge Pavilion opened in October of 2017.

The development is located east of the Missouri River levee.

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said the official announcement on two 15-story condominium towers is expected soon. Access will be improved when the Council Bluffs Interstate Improvement Program completes work on Interstate 480.

“It is a really nice site,” Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said. “It’s an exciting time in Council Bluffs. It will be a dynamic, exciting place to locate.”

Asked if he’s worried about filling the business spaces, Walsh expressed confidence.

“We think we’re going to have success with it. There’s always apprehension when you do something new, will it come together like you think it will,” he said. “We think the location will make it very desirable.

“We’ll work with businesses to get them over here.”

There was little on the Council Bluffs side when the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge opened in September of 2008. Tulipana noted some in Omaha called it the “bridge to nowhere.” Since then, the city has unveiled Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, the new pavilion, public art and more.

“It’s a bridge to somewhere today,” Walsh said.

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