Grinnell College


Iowa Reinvestment Act Project and Grinnell Zone of Confluence Market Analysis, Grinnell, Iowa

Provided Grinnell College with project-based information for an Iowa Reinvestment Act (IRA) application submission.  Bolan Smart assisted a planning team led by McGraw Bagnoli Architects.  Required due diligence focused on defining a “Catalyst Project” within the context of a vision for the designed study area in downtown Grinnell.  The Catalyst Project comprised 18,000 square feet which included a campus store, market destination retail / food service, flex service space, outdoor public / activity space and public parking.  Recommended complimentary development proximate to the Catalyst Project constituted additional campus, municipal uses, a community visitor center and market-driven residental product.

Specific tasks undertaken comprised:

  • Defined / confirmed project boundaries (Zone of Confluence), goals and objectives and definition of primary assumptions.
  • Conducted an existing conditions analysis focusing on underutilized sites, property ownership, land assemblages, physical conditions, etc.
  • Performed stakeholder interviews including businesses, property owners, municipal representatives (Chamber of Commerce, County Economic Development, City officials, etc.), local brokers, developers and Grinnell College personnel.
  • Prepared a SWOT analysis by land use type within the Zone of Confluence.
  • Calculated a retail “gap” analysis / market demand potential.
  • Evaluated project economics and financial viability of the proposed land uses.
  • Identified the location, components (public and private sector uses) and possible target tenants for a catalyst project within the Zone of Confluence.
  • Provided economic justification for the financial viability of the catalyst project (including IRA application financing requirements, leasing potential, preliminary development budget, revenue projects, etc.).
  • Assisted with the development of a final Vision Plan and implementation factors (i.e. phasing options).