Charles City, IA: 'We Compete, You Win'

Charles City offers a pro-growth environment and a unique quality of life.

Bill Lewis
On Monday, January 4, 2021 - 12:34
Iowa EDG

It’s easy get to and from Charles City, thanks to its location along the Avenue of the Saints linking St. Paul and St. Louis. But for businesses and the skilled workforce the city depends on to succeed, it’s easy to stay in Charles City, thanks to its pro-growth environment and a unique quality of life that combines big-city opportunity and small-town charm.

With completion of the Avenue of the Saints superhighway, businesses in the new Avenue of the Saints Development Park have access to markets throughout the United States by interstate highway.

Strategically located at the Avenue of the Saint’s juncture with South Grand Avenue, Avenue of the Saints Development Park is in Charles City’s South Grand Tax Increment Financing District. 

iowa edg
Courtesy of Charles City Area Development Corporation

The level, 75-acre site is state certified as shovel-ready and has electrical, water and sewer infrastructure on-site, and natural gas and telecommunications close at hand.

“Designation within the Iowa Certified Sites Program means the parcel is development-ready, with all due diligence completed, including utilities, topographical, environmental, soil testing, wetlands, zoning, etc.,” says Timothy Fox, executive director of the Charles City Area Development Corp. “It truly is shovel-ready.”

Fox says the property is zoned as a general manufacturing district and would be ideal for mid-to-heavy industrial users.

“The Avenue of the Saints Development Park is one of the most marketable certified sites in the Midwest,” Fox adds. “It possesses immediate four-lane highway access, sufficient infrastructure capacities and an economically competitive and progressive community.”

The industrial park is only the 29th site to win designation by the Iowa Certified Sites Program. The decision to achieve that designation for Avenue of the Saints Development Park, in a city of 8,000 citizens, was in keeping with the spirit of Charles City.

“We have a new tagline,” Fox says. “Charles City Iowa: We compete. You win.”

iowa edg
Courtesy of Charles City Area Development Corporation/Marty Colbert

Once businesses and workers and their families arrive, Charles City’s quality of place makes them want to stay. The city is known for its diverse economy, forward-thinking attitude, educational opportunities including the local campus of North Iowa Area Community College, extensive system of 26 parks and cultural and recreational opportunities.

In Charles City, you can enjoy the Cultural and Entertainment District, visit local shops and restaurants, walk or bike along the five-mile Charley Western Recreational Trail and marvel at the vintage Hart-Parr tractors at the Floyd County Historical Museum.

Just steps away, you can enjoy the thrill of Iowa’s first whitewater course on the Cedar River as it winds through town. Challenge the river in a kayak or float leisurely in an inner tube.

“Every city says it’s a great place to live, work and play. In Charles City, it really is true,” says Fox.

Learn more at Charles City Area Development Corp.


Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States.