3 Ways Altoona Development Benefits the Community

Development in Altoona, IA

Success doesn’t happen on its own. It’s the result of intentional planning and decision-making, and most importantly, follow-through. In a similar vein, prosperous, equitable communities don’t develop by mere chance. They’re formed through decades of thoughtful leadership and a shared desire—among businesses, individuals, and local governments—to make things better.

A leader in Iowa economic development and arguably the best place to raise a family in Iowa, the City of Altoona exemplifies this dedication to widespread progress. Our community of 20,000+ residents has grown significantly in recent decades—in size, economic strength, and quality of life. This all-around advancement has been possible because of three key Altoona development initiatives put forth by City leadership and our community as a whole.

By investing in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our city, Altoona has emerged as Iowa’s home for growth.


Altoona’s social development is driven by the City’s longstanding commitment to healthcare, education, and fostering community togetherness through events and celebrations.


Healthcare is a rapidly expanding business opportunity in Iowa, especially in the Greater Des Moines Area. Already an established industry hub, Altoona is home to high-quality healthcare facilities offering a wide range of services, from family medicine to pediatrics and physical therapy, meeting the healthcare needs of residents and opening doors for job growth.


In addition to its robust healthcare infrastructure, Altoona takes immense pride and invests heavily in its educational institutions. The city is home to four out of the eleven public schools within the Southeast Polk Community School District, renowned for its excellent STEM education program and high graduation rates.


Altoona also excels in nurturing a collective sense of belonging. City-wide events and historical celebrations like Altoona Palooza and this year’s CORNival serve a deeper purpose beyond being entertainment and engaging. They facilitate a strong sense of community by enabling individuals to connect with the area’s history and traditions, reinforcing their attachment to the place they all call home.


The City of Altoona has long remained an Iowa economic development leader due to our highly skilled and diverse workforce, business-friendly environment, and Altoona land development opportunities.


Altoona is home to a highly educated and skilled workforce across various industries. This is beneficial to both businesses and residents, with companies having a vast talent pool to select from, and residents having numerous opportunities to grow and advance their careers.

Moreover, this helps stimulate the local economy—Altoona residents are both high earners and high spenders.


Local policymaking decisions have allowed Altoona to evolve into a business-friendly environment that attracts companies of all sizes, with investments across healthcare, dining, retail, tech, industrial, and manufacturing sectors.

The City itself acts as a valuable partner for businesses in the process of leasing, buying, or constructing new facilities. From permits and zoning applications to tax abatement, code compliance, and a wide array of other services, Altoona’s City staff ensures that businesses have all the necessary tools at their disposal.


Furthermore, Altoona has been proactive in investing in numerous building projects over the years. In 2022, the City issued over $320 million in new building permits, marking the second-highest year for permit valuations behind 2021.

Today, the Altoona community offers more than 1,600 acres of commercial land available for development, with properties like Koethe North and Prairie Crossing providing room for all types of businesses to flourish—from massive data centers to small mom-and-pop retail stores.


Fostering collaboration between developers, residents, and government partners, the City of Altoona works diligently to expand our community’s horizons while preserving our beautiful environment and historic small-town charm.


Altoona boasts numerous outstanding parks, trails, and other outdoor recreation facilities that help promote active lifestyles and green space accessibility for residents. On top of that, the City has made significant investments in state-of-the-art venues like Spring Creek Sports Complex, which help generate revenue through tournament fees and an influx of local economic activity.


Ensuring a safe and clean environment is a top priority for Altoona. City leaders make sure to provide adequate funding for public safety, supporting our police and fire departments—the latter of which was recently supplied with a state-of-the-art training live scenario facility.


Altoona’s commitment to environmental improvement also extends to the historical preservation and restoration of Olde Town Altoona (our city’s historic downtown area). Community organizations like the Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce and Altoona Area Historical Society have recently begun a sweeping revitalization project to restore the neighborhood to its former cultural and economic glory.


Planning an Iowa relocation? Whether you’re looking to relocate a business to Altoona, IA, or are in search of a safe, supportive place to raise a family—let us be your home for growth. Our city is among the top choices for families in Iowa, offering a high quality of life, a strong local economy, close proximity to Des Moines, and plenty of available real estate.

Over the last two decades, Altoona land development has increased significantly, and there are currently numerous opportunities for investors looking to purchase properties or developers looking to build. Further, Altoona investment properties are priced at competitive rates and are often supported by incentives, grants, and tax credits.

Visit our “Living In Altoona” page or request additional information to learn more.