WATERLOO — Trevis Adair was 6 years old when his dad gave him a bulldozer ride while building Waterloo Greyhound Park.
More than 30 years later, the dog track is being demolished and Adair is looking to develop a new business park in its former shadows.
“Now that that’s coming down, it’s very exciting for me, for all of us, because we see this area as a gateway to the city,” Adair said. “We want to help the city of Waterloo grow and recruit companies to bring in more jobs.”
Adair’s Fusion Investments is seeking plat approval from the city to construct Cedar Valley Crossing, a 10-lot commercial subdivision northeast of the intersection of U.S. Highways 63 and 20.
Two businesses with an estimated 50 to 60 potential jobs have already expressed interest in the area, he said.
The proposed 31-acre development would be located on the east side of U.S. 63, north of Mount Olivet Cemetery and south of a string of businesses including the Highway 63 Diner and Country Estate Fence. The lots would be served by extending Marnie Avenue to create a cul-de-sac.
Cedar Valley Crossing would become part of the city’s fastest growing area for new development.
Developer Harold Youngblut, who purchased and is tearing down the long-vacant dog track, has been working for a number of years on Greenbelt Center, which includes the new Love’s Travel Plaza, Mauer Eye Center and other businesses along the west side of U.S. 63 south of Ridgeway Avenue.
A golf range along Ridgeway Avenue across from United Medical Park has seen a strip mall and multiple other businesses developed in recent years, with more construction underway.
Additional projects, including a Kwik Star fuel blending center, have been built just north of Ridgeway on the west side of U.S. 63.
The plat is expected to go before the City Council for approval in coming weeks. Adair is seeking an estimated $500,000 from the city to help pay half the cost of extending sewers and streets into the development.
“The goal would be to work in partnership with the city,” Adair said. “Funding will directly affect the partnership’s ability to move forward.”
City Planner Aric Schroeder said any city participation would be negotiated as part of a development agreement. The city has helped pay infrastructure costs to assist other projects in the area, which is located in the Martin Road tax-increment financing district.
Members of the city’s Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the proposed plat despite concerns about a lack of sidewalks through the development.
While the city’s Complete Streets Advisory Committee had recommended sidewalks be required, planning staff noted there were no sidewalks in the surrounding developments to make connections.
Commissioner Tavis Hall said the city will never have sidewalks to connect if it keeps approving developments without walkways.
“We say that we want to make pedestrian accommodations a point we want to emphasize; we say that we’re a complete streets community; we say that we’re a Blue Zones community,” Hall said. “Yet we never actually take the steps to make it happen.
“I wish that we focused a bit more on the planning and not just on the zoning,” he added. “At some point we’ve got to start to really plan on sidewalks and not sort of give lip service to complete streets.”