The 712 Initiative recently became a staff of five, with the addition of a director of redevelopment under its wing.
Lynn Dittmer, a native of Remsen, was hired to assist with the operation and implementation of redevelopment, primarily working to increase the variety of quality housing and commercial stock in Council Bluffs, according to a release by the nonprofit.
In recent years, Dittmer was a senior planner for JEO Consulting Group in Omaha, working with Nebraska and Iowa communities on comprehensive planning and community engagement, she said.
Before that, she spent 10 years as a community and economic development manager for Metro Area Planning Agency, using federal and state funding to improve the community north of downtown Omaha, she said.
Dittmer gained more than 12 years experience in development and planning, leading herself to the 712 Initiative in early May. She has a bachelor’s degree in community and regional planning from Iowa State University.
“Lynn had the qualities we need at this stage of the organization as we look at not only continuing our existing mixed-use development model but pivoting into addressing even more of the community’s housing needs,” said Sheryl Garst, CEO of The 712 Initiative.
Focusing on the 500 block of West Broadway to Scott Street, Dittmer said she is working to improve and market those sites for developers moving forward.
“Strength in this area is essential not only to carry forward all of The 712’s activities but to drive the Council Bluffs community and region’s 2050 goals for the future,” Garst said. “We are thrilled that someone with Lynn’s drive and experience is committed to the effort.”
“I’m looking forward to helping. There’s already a momentum here, and I’m looking forward to helping contribute to that and see the community grow,” Dittmer said.