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Chamber to relocate office to MERGE

March 27, 2019 at 4:27 PM

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The Iowa City Chamber of Commerce announced plans on Wednesday to relocate its staff office to the MERGE space on the Ped Mall later this summer.

The news comes just one month after the Chamber announced that it would be leaving its current space at 325 E. Washington St., where it has resided for more than three decades.

Chamber President and CEO Kim Casko says the decision to head for MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., is the result of several months of searching for the best fit for the organization.

“We needed to ask: What would be most cost-effective, so we can spend less on space and more on member services?” Casko said. “Also, what would best represent the type of image we want to present? What would be energizing and inspiring for the team so that we can do our best work? And what would be a good space for our members to convene and connect?”

Ultimately, Casko said the MERGE space provided the best answer to all of those questions. In addition, it puts the Chamber closer to other key organizations located in the space, including the Chamber’s economic and community development partner, the Iowa City Area Development Group; the Chamber’s largest member, the University of Iowa;  and the entrepreneurs in MERGE who may go on to become future members.

“MERGE is an exciting hub of business activity and has kind of become the living room of downtown Iowa City,” said Casko. We’re excited to now be part of it and add to that energy.”

Casko noted that the Chamber will also have two satellite spaces at the CoWork @808 space in Coralville and the IC CoLab in North Liberty.  “This will help us have a greater presence in each of the three largest communities we serve,” she said.

An exact date for the move will be announced soon.

“It’s just the start for more new announcements from the Chamber in the coming months as we refresh and reinvent what we do to better serve our members,” Casko said. “A new space is just the beginning.”