On Friday, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced $13.97 million in grant funding for the following two projects through Destination Iowa. The $100 million program, announced in April, invests in transformational projects that will bolster the quality of life in Iowa communities and attract visitors and new residents.
The City of Davenport has been awarded $9,600,000 toward three signature projects that combine art, architecture and play. The projects to receive funding include Main Street Landing, an all-season riverfront plaza for both recreation and events; technology enhancements to the lighting on the Davenport Skybridge; and the creation of an evanescent light field at the Figge Museum. These projects are part of a larger creative placemaking effort and represent 40% of $193 million in public and private investment in the Davenport riverfront area.
The City of Clear Lake has been awarded $4,370,000 toward their Clear Lake Surf District project, which will assist in the expansion and relocation of Clear Lake’s Music Enrichment Center to allow for improved performances and educational experiences; gateway and streetscape enhancements around and on Buddy Holly Place; and waterfront connections from the Surf Ballroom to the lakeshore. This award represents 40% of $35.2 million in public and private investment in the Clear Lake Surf District.
IEDA began accepting applications on May 9 and will continue to review applications as they arrive through December 31 or until funding runs out. Applications are scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants through four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction, and Creative Placemaking.
Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information on the Destination Iowa program, visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/. Funding for this program is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.