WATERLOO — Development is transitioning into its next phase at North Crossing.
The $9.1 million project, spearheaded by developer Ben Stroh at the intersection of Donald Street and Highway 63/Logan Avenue — the former Logan Plaza site — saw two medical facilities and a convenience store go up since its inception in 2016.
UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital built an Urgent Care clinic in 2017 and family medicine, neurology and internal medicine also moved to the site.
“We wanted to re-ignite that area of the neighborhood. We all remember what it looked like a couple of years ago, and to see it now, it’s great to drive past that,” said Sarah Brown, vice president of operations for UnityPoint Clinic.
She said transitioning those services from the main UnityPoint campus to North Crossing — a kitty corner move — makes it more convenient for patients to get care.
“We have had a goal to get our outpatient services out of the hospital. The hospital can be challenging to navigate with the five floors, and it’s wide spread, and the parking,” Brown said. “We wanted that ‘walk right up, drive right in’ mentality. Easy check-in, easy process.”
The Urgent Care clinic takes the quick turnaround approach, too.
“We know they are really busy and have a lot of other things to do other than manage their sore throat,” Brown said.
In coming weeks, UnityPoint will be moving its therapy center to one of the North Crossing buildings.
“Instead of therapy patients who might be on crutches or something, they don’t have to navigate the parking lot and the entrance and go up to the fifth floor of the hospital. They can drive right up and park in the front row and walk in the door for their therapy appointment,” said UnityPoint Spokesman Carson Tigges.
City officials said the next step in the project is to bring more commercial businesses to the strip malls on the site and establish a restaurant.
“The whole idea has always been the medical would continue to bring a constant flow of traffic through there, for people to serve their medical needs and hopefully get some retail to take advantage of the traffic,” said Noel Anderson, the city’s community planning and development director.
The plan included a convenience store, which was fulfilled when Kwik Star erected a shop on the corner last year.
“We are kind of right on schedule right now in terms of phase four, I think (Stroh) is working on another medical building this spring … He’s talking to potential retail- and restaurant-type businesses,” Anderson said.
Farther north, property that had been set aside for a Menards home improvement store that didn’t materialize is also available for development. Anderson said the city has contracted with Buxton, a data analysis firm, to explore possibilities for the land through information on credit card purchases.
“They use that information to help companies locate to where these are the types of people who will eat at an Applebee’s or a TGI Fridays or whatever,” Anderson said.
He said the city has been reaching out to potential retailers.
“Retailers usually want to look at a site and analyze it. They are going to want to look at it for their patterns as well as what we provide them,” Anderson said.
The city is undertaking drainage improvements to Virden Creek in the area and is calculating how that will coincide with development.
“It’s kind of a chicken and egg. We’d hate to put some of the drainage way improvements in the way of some of the lots. We are trying to figure out the best location for drainage improvements as well as for lot layout out there,” Anderson said.