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Sunday, September 19, 2021

    World Peace Village Advisory Board Reveals Communication from Merge Development

    Discover Muscatine Staff
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    Muscatine Living

    Muscatine, Iowa

    This year, the City of Muscatine has begun working to develop a plan to redevelop the land in Muscatine’s South End known as Carver Corner. They put out a request for proposals, due August 14th. Merge Urban Development (MUD) responded with the only official proposal. The World Peace Village Advisory Board (WPVAB) also submitted a letter to the council discussing their desire to create a World Peace Park with housing and business space surrounding it. 

    On October 3rd, Jodi Royal-Goodwin, Community Development Director sent a memo to the City Council recommending they accept MUD’s proposal. Previous discussions between MUD and the City and MUD and the WPVAB seemed positive. 

    However, MUD became increasingly uncommunicative after this point. Now the WPVAB has shared a letter that reveals MUD’s reason for silence. Its full text reads as follows:

    Our team has decided to politely decline further exploration in Muscatine, so I do not think there is anything to accomplish through additional discussions with your group, at this time.  Our entire team fully believes that given your passion to block private development at Carver Corner, that you should have the full opportunity to fundraise, plan, and garner City and broad community support for your 7-acre idea. 

    You mention that communication has been awkward – we agree and frankly it’s disappointing.  We invested significant resources in to submitting a complete RFP.  Given what has transpired, we’re confident that pursuing any land acquisition and development agreement in Muscatine would not be a good use of resources at this time.  

    That being said, we are very protective of our team’s bandwidth and attention to projects that are moving forward.  If you wish to continue discussions at a later date, we ask that first, you prepare a package as or more thoroughly than we did in response to the RFP.  Second, please elect one Peace Park representative to communicate on your group’s behalf and I will act as the same on Merge’s behalf. Until then, we truly wish you the best of luck in making this vision a reality.

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