Ames EDC


Posted on May 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Guest Writer Guest Writer

Written By: Karin Chitty, Executive Director, Campustown Action Association


I am not an expert on economic development. I might be considered an expert on Campustown. This is my take on economic growth in the Campustown District disguised as a Top 5.

1. View the streetscape improvements made to the 100 block of Welch Avenue. Replacement of infrastructure under the road was the driving factor behind this project, but it also provided several additional opportunities for growth. Federal grant funds were awarded to install stormwater quality improvement features. The project also brought wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, improved signage, and a mid-block crosswalk. These factors aim to improve the experience of moving throughout the Campustown district. Not only do projects like these make the district even more appealing to residents and visitors, but it also sets the district up for future growth and development.

2. Shop and support local businesses. You might be surprised by all the retail and service options housed within the Campustown district borders. Everything from jewelry, gifts and apparel can be found along with grocery, pharmacy, dental and salon/barber services. There is even a post office. Shopping local supports our friends and neighbors and keeps money in our local economy. In fact, for every $100 spent at a small business, $68 of it is reinvested in the community!

3. Unique food experiences are something else Campustown brings to the table. From the European-style café offerings at Clouds to the Brazilian fare at Café Beaudelaire, the authenticity of Joy’s Mongolian Grill to the classic taste of Pizza Pit, the restaurant scene in Campustown continues to grow. It’s the diverse offering that keeps people coming back for favorites and to discover something new.

4. Murals old or new. A few neighborhood businesses are working to bring a new mural to the district this summer and we cannot wait for you to see it! In the meantime, stop and view the mural at 206 Welch. Painted over 10 years ago, the mural depicts many local icons and is a bright, colorful nod to the traditions of ISU and Campustown. Both murals are a great backdrop for your Instagram and while you’re in the neighborhood take some time to explore different shops and restaurants.

5. Summerfest in Campustown. Summerfest is a great way to explore the district. Join us Saturday, June 5th for our annual kickoff to summer event featuring family-friendly activities, live music, and a beer garden.

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