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Peninsula Neighborhood Expands Into Retail

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- Construction crews in Iowa City are breaking ground in an unlikely part of town.

The Peninsula Neighborhood at the end of Foster Road will soon have a new town square-type business and retail area, and that makes residents in the 10-year-old residential area excited about their live, work, play environment.

"I can go sit out on the porch with my laptop, which I do almost every day, and somebody's going to walk by with their dog and they're going to stop and they're going to talk, or suddenly you're going to find out that you've got 10 people on your porch and you're all enjoying a glass of wine together and talking," said Peninsula resident Melinda Pradarelli.

For Pradarelli, her partner Ellen Hallin, and their neighbors, having a wine bar and a coffee shop just down the street makes perfect sense.

"Honestly, it's one of the reasons why we wanted to buy here," she said.

This week, the Board of Adjustments approved food and drink sales for the development, and that's something many residents can't wait to have in the neighborhood.

But development manager Amy Pretorius is hoping for more. Because this is a residential area, alcoholic beverages can't be sold outside, and that puts a snag in the plans for the wine bar.

"The concept behind the wine bar and the restaurant, is hopefully, on days like today, people want to find this outdoor space and sit out and soak up the sun, especially after a long winter," Pretorius said.

She is hoping the city might consider a zoning change, because this live, work, play mentality is not going anywhere soon.

"I think this could benefit everything moving forward, and I don't mind being the guinea pig subdivision if that's kind of what's happening here," Pretorius said.

Pretorius is hoping to have the retail space completed by late winter, and they say there is plenty of flexible space for more businesses to jump on board.
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