Three Parcels at UI Research Park Receive Shovel Ready Status


Independent, Third-Party Program Addresses Need for Development

Three parcels in the University of Iowa Research Park were awarded Shovel Ready Iowa status during a ceremony at the BioVentures Center.  Joe Raso, President of the Iowa City Area Development Group and Kelly Hayworth, Coralville City Manager, presented the certification to Dr. Jorden Cohen, Vice President for Research and Economic Development with the Univesity of Iowa.

Lots 2, 11 and a portion of Lot 3 are now certified “Shovel Ready.”

“Reaching shovel-ready status represents a significant milestone for the University as the UI Research Park continues to evolve and plan for growth,” said Dr. Cohen.  “Working with ICAD Group and the City of Coralville, this blended campus of University spin out companies, forward-looking commercial tenants and nationally regarded education and research programs, has the potential to play a major role in advancing our innovation economy.”

The Shovel Ready Iowa Certification is an independent, third-party certification program designed to reduce risk for local communities and property owners as well as companies researching the seven county Corridor Alliance region for business location or expansion. The seven county Corridor Alliance includes economic development representatives from Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton, Iowa, Cedar and Washington counties. 

“This program was created in response to a fundamental economic development challenge for our area:  sites that could be developed quickly,” said Joe Raso, ICAD Group President.  “Now, the research park joins the Tipton Business Park as the only independently certified properties in Iowa.”

“We are excited about the potential these certified properties bring our region,” added Raso.

Jonathan Gemmen, who represents the certification company, noted that the University of Iowa Research Park stands out from other properties Austin Consulting reviews.

“The University of Iowa Research Park offers a corporate office park setting that complements the main campus in downtown Iowa City,” said Gemmen.  “Very few university communities provide such a distinctive attribute.  The park fills market demand for a suburban, corporate park while allowing the University to maintain a unique main campus.”

With this new certification, the three parcels on The University of Iowa Research Park will be featured on the website  This website serves as the primary source of information on the shovel ready certification program, certified properties and properties currently under application.

As certified Shovel-Ready Iowa sites in the “Technology Center – Campus” category, these properties have shown they can meet the tight project timelines typical of the world’s leading research and development firms. The park’s current infrastructure offers tenants the ability to tap into redundant fiber optic and electric service. Also, tenants can realize the multiple benefits of a relationship with a strong research university while its employees enjoy the attractive working environment of a corporate office park.

For more information regarding the University of Iowa Research Park, visit