The Signs are Everywhere.

The Signs are Everywhere. From blocks of housing rebuilt painstakingly by volunteers and residents, to the new U.S. Courthouse flanking the river, to a state of the art convention center and new hotel, bookending our vibrant downtown with the New Bohemia Main Street District - this is a time of hope and optimism for our community. With more than 3/4 of a billion dollars invested in our community, the Signs of Progress are all around us.

At the five year mark, this is the time to look forward. This is not only a time to see how much is yet to be done - but also to pursue that vision of a vibrant and urban hometown. One we’re all proud to call home.

Jun 12, 2013

Greene Square Park Revitalization


Community Investment: $2 million
Status: In progress

Address: 400 4th Avenue SE

Description: Design includes a large, open green space for gathering and events, a play area for children that is sculptural in appearance, an interactive water feature, public art, areas for picnicking and a permanent holiday tree stand. Committee members anticipate fundraising through 2013 with construction possible in 2014.

Orchestra Iowa, Orchestra Iowa School & Opus Concert Café


Community Investment: $4 million
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 119 Third Avenue SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


Description: For the past 92 years, Orchestra Iowa has been serving this community by presenting performances of symphonic masterworks, chamber music classics, popular show, and educational programs. In June 2008, The Symphony Center, home to Orchestra Iowa administration and Orchestra Iowa School, was severely damaged by the worst flood in Cedar Rapids history. In addition to significant property damage, the entire office infrastructure was destroyed. The new facility now serves as home for Opus Concert Café, the centralized Orchestra Iowa and Paramount Theatre ticket office, Orchestra Iowa School and the Orchestra Iowa administrative offices.

Anchoring the facility on the main floor is Opus Concert Café, an upscale performance destination perfect for a variety of events. This lavish venue offers a stage with theatrical acoustics and lighting, as well as a wide range of patron amenities including a full-service bar, catering kitchen, coat check, restrooms and lobby. Opus Concert Café is the ideal setting for Paramount Theatre patrons to enjoy themselves in during intermissions and post-performance receptions. This space also has rental availability for performers or private groups.

Also on the main floor of the building is the new ticket office for Orchestra Iowa, Opus Concert Café, and Paramount Theatre. The ticket office is equipped with three stations to allow for a personalized and expedited ticket buying experience.

The second floor is home to Orchestra Iowa School, which includes teaching, rehearsal, and recording studios, in addition to a waiting area that students or parents may use while at the school. New additions to Orchestra Iowa School include three studios, a recording studio, and an archival suite.

The third floor of the new facility acts as the administrative office and library for Orchestra Iowa. The open layout provides individual work space for each staff member, as well as a conference room and amenities such as a kitchen and business center.

Funding Sources:
  • $1 million FEMA
  • $2 million Donations & Grants
  • $950 thousand Historical Tax Credits

Greenway Park


Status: In progress 

Address: Near 1st Street NW from E Avenue to Penn Avenue


Description: Greenway Park will become a new recreational destination in Cedar Rapids. The park could include recreational amenities such as multi-purpose fields, football fields, a new skate and BMX park, boat access, picnic areas, shelters, a playground and trails along the river’s edge through naturalized areas.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/resident-resources/parks-recreation/pages/default.aspx

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library


Community Investment: $16.8 Million
Status: Completed and Open to the Public 

Address: 1400 Inspiration Place SW 

Description: The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library opened to the public in July 2012 with a crowd of 10,000 - 12,000 people. The original museum was moved and expanded to 50,000 sq. ft. with three galleries, theater, research library and program and event space. The final major recovery project opens June 15, 2013: the new permanent exhibition, "Faces of Freedom: The Czech and Slovak Journey." 

Website: http://www.ncsml.org/

May 14, 2013

Ground Transportation Center


Community Investment: $10.5 million
Status: Near Completion (Opens December 2013, Completed in May 2014)

Address: 150 Transit Way SE, Cedar Rapids, IA


Description: The Ground Transportation Center (GTC) will be redesigned and remodeled to improve the facility's efficiency and accessibility for pedestrian, wheelchair, bicycle and vehicle safety. The interior of the city bus terminal will be remodeled to include a passenger seating area, enlarged public restrooms, an information/dispatch office, a supervisor office, an employee break room, employee restrooms and a conference room. The redesigned facility will allow City buses to park around the perimeter of the building and depart without backing into traffic. The project will necessitate the conversion of 4th and 5th Avenues from one-way to two-way traffic between 1st and 3rd Streets. Landscaping will be incorporated throughout the exterior of the GTC complex to make a more inviting and comfortable waiting environment. The project is funded with $7.4 million in Federal Transit Administration funds, $1.5 million in FEMA repair funds and $1.6 million in Local Option Sales Tax revenues. The building renovation will be complete in December and the outdoor pedestrian enhancements and road work will be complete in May 2014.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/city-news/crprogress/cityfacilities/Pages/GroundTransportationCenter.aspx

Ladd Library - West Side Branch


Community Investment: $2.1 million
Status: Completed and open to public (Opened February 23, 2013)

Address: 3750 Williams Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids, IA


Description: The Ladd Library is the permanent west-side branch of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, located at 3750 Williams Blvd SW. This newly renovated space features natural light, plenty of comfortable seating, 20 public computers and free WiFi, a community room for up to 50 people, a drive-up book return, and a wide collection of materials. This branch is named after Marilyn Ladd, who left her estate and the single largest gift from an individual, to the Library.

Website: http://www.crlibrary.org/west-side-branch/

May 7, 2013

Creation of CR Metro Economic Alliance


Community Investment: $2.5 million ($1.2M from IJOBS)
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance was created through the merger of the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown District and Priority One and began operating Jan. 1, 2012. The Economic Alliance serves it members by focusing on four core functions: business support, community development, economic development and public policy. In addition, regional development is part of the organization's strategic goals. In July, 2012, the Economic Alliance and Innovation Center opened in the former Science Station and IMAX Theatre. Dee Baird, Economic Alliance president & CEO, says the building is a “beacon of economic growth” with a design that reflects “a smart, innovative, progressive space.”

Website: http://www.cedarrapids.org/

Cedar Rapids Science Center


Community Investment: $3.5 Million
Status: In progress (Completion in 2014)

Address: 4444 1st Ave NE, Suite 410B Lower Level of Lindale Mall, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: Samuel Smiles once said “Progress however, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.”
Although somewhat perceived as slow but steady progress, the Cedar Rapids Science Center is achieving great results with the ability to reinvent the organization-spending much time and effort in thinking about the facilities and resources needed to deliver programs that will be relevant to the community. Planning and research has led the Science Center on an exciting journey of self-discovery. The delivery of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) experiences to visitors through adult learning programs, new interactive exhibits and programs, workshop space, final site selections and the launch of an anticipated 3.5 million capital campaign are all in the works for 2014. Follow news, programs and event updates at www.crsciencecenter.org

Flood Management System


Community Investment: $290.8 million
Status: In progress

Address: Both sides of the Cedar River

Description: The City of Cedar Rapids continues to work on securing local, state and federal funding for a permanent flood management system for both sides of the Cedar River. Last year, the Iowa Legislature passed legislation that will allow Cedar Rapids to apply for state funding for flood protection. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved permanent flood protection for the east side of the river and is currently working on detailed design work. Conceptual design work has begun on permanent flood protection for the west side of the river but the city needs USACE approval and more funding to complete the work.

The East Side Flood Management System design concept includes 3.15 miles of levees and concrete floodwalls extending from Cedar Lake to the Otis Road SW Cargill plant on the east bank of the Cedar River. When completed, the system will provide flood protection equivalent to the June 2008 flood level, plus an additional three or four feet for wave action. The estimated project cost for the East Side Flood Management System is $115.8 million.

The West Side Flood Management System concept includes an estimated 2.5 miles of levee and concrete floodwalls. The conceptual alignment extends from just south of Ellis Park to just South of 22nd Avenue SW. Concrete floodwalls are recommended from the 8th Avenue Bridge to the Bridge of Lions at 16th Avenue SW. Removable floodwall sections or gates are recommended where the system is crossed by active City streets and railroad crossings. Other removable floodwalls could be recommended as more detailed planning occurs. The estimated project cost for the West Side Flood Management System is $175 million.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/city-news/flood-recovery-progress/floodmanagementsystem/Pages/default.aspx

Cedar Rapids City Hall


Community Investment: $10 million
Status: Completed and open to public (Opened June 4, 2012)

Address: 101 First Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The former federal courthouse was carefully renovated to preserve its significant historical features and to accommodate over 120 City employees as the new Cedar Rapids City Hall. In the first floor lobby, residents will find convenient walk-up service windows and comfortable meeting spaces. The lower level of the facility features several conference rooms for public meetings. You can pay your utility bill, apply for housing assistance, submit an employment application, apply for permits and licenses and submit bids or proposals at this new centralized location. Free 30-minute parking spaces are available on First Street SE and two-hour metered parking is available surrounding the building as well. This renovation project received the American Public Works Association of Iowa’s Project of the Year award for its historic restoration and preservation features. The project was funded with a $3.3 million state I-JOBS grant, $2.1 million from 2010 legislative appropriations, $3.5 million in state and federal historic tax credits, $200,000 in FEMA repair funds and $900,000 in City funds.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/Pages/home.aspx

Paramount Theatre


Community Investment: $33 million
Status: Completed and open to public (Opened October 26, 2012)

Address: 123 Third Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The Paramount Theatre has hosted over 42,000 guests since it reopened last year. This historic performing arts center was carefully restored to the architectural elegance of the 1920’s and improved with acoustic upgrades, a larger stage, more comfortable seating and a new marquee. Every surface of the main theatre has been restored to its original grandeur with special efforts to preserve its rich history. In addition, a modern lounge area, concession space, restrooms and gathering spaces will welcome you to linger and mingle before shows and at intermission. The lower level provides an additional lounge with bar service and restrooms. This project was funded with $21 million in FEMA repair funds, a $5 million state I-JOBS grant and $8.7 million in state and federal historic tax credits. To learn more about the exciting line up of entertainment planned for the Paramount Theatre’s Grand Reopening Year, visit www.ParamountTheatreCR.com or call 319-398-5226.

U.S. Cellular Center & Doubletree by Hilton


Community Investment: $130 million
Status: Completed and open to public on 5/31/2013

Address: 350 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The second largest convention center in Iowa will open on Friday, May 31, in downtown Cedar Rapids. The renovated arena and new convention center spaces will now be known as the U.S. Cellular Center. The upgraded hotel will now be known as the DoubleTree by Hilton. The entire complex offers more than 80,000 square feet of technology-rich function space for conventions and events. The U.S. Cellular Center features 28,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 12,300 square foot Grand Ballroom. Both can host a total of 1,030 people.

The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel offers 267 guest rooms and suites, a 2,856 square foot Parlor Ballroom, 12 breakout rooms and boardrooms, and a restaurant and lounge. And of course, every guest receives a delicious DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie when they check in. The arena has been renovated and modernized with new digital interior and exterior signage, new sound and lighting systems, new food court, eight VIP boxes and 169 Club seats. Event attendees will enjoy 7,500 new permanent seats and 2,000 additional seats on the arena floor. The project is funded with a $35 million U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant, a $15 million state I-JOBS grant, $2.5 million from the Hall-Perrine Foundation, $3.8 million from U.S. Cellular and $73.9 million in City funds. To learn more about upcoming events at the center, visit www.USCellularCenter.com or call 319-362-1729.

Linn County Courthouse


Community Investment: $8.5 million
Status: Near completion

Address: 51 Third Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The upper levels of the Linn County Courthouse on May’s Island reopened in October 2008. The lower level, which housed juvenile court offices and record storage, was damaged by the 2008 flood, so the offices were relocated to the new Juvenile Justice Center at 211 8th Ave. SW.

Linn County worked with FEMA on mitigation and improvements that will reduce the severity of damages should there ever be another flood of the magnitude of 2008.

The lower level of the Courthouse has been reconstructed as courtrooms instead of replacing the offices and storage areas that were flooded. Should the lower level flood again, it would be easier and more cost effective to replace courtroom space than to replace offices and risk damage to stored items. Offices and work areas on the upper floors are being rearranged and improved to make the best use of space throughout the Courthouse. To mitigate future flood threats, Linn County has filled in the tunnels connecting the jail and Courthouse and the underground parkade and Courthouse.
Total Cost: $8.5 million

The project is funded by $6.2 million from FEMA and $2.3 million in Linn County disaster recovery bonds.

Mitigation includes building courtrooms in the lower level instead of replacing offices and storage areas that flooded (it is more cost effective to replace courtroom space than to replace offices and risk damage to stored items) and filling in the tunnel next to the Courthouse.

Funding Sources: 
  • $6.2 million FEMA
  • $2.3 million Linn County bonding

Linn County Sheriff's Office


Community Investment: N/A
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 310 Second Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The Sheriff’s Office reopened in January 2010. Three of the building's four levels were remodeled due to the 2008 flood. As part of the mitigation to protect from future flood threats, mechanical and electrical equipment were moved to an upper level and the Communications Center and all associated equipment were relocated to the 2nd floor.

Funding Sources: 
  • FEMA

Linn County Juvenile Justice Center


Community Investment: $6.7 million
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 211 Eighth Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The new Linn County Juvenile Justice Center is located at 211 8th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids (diagonally across the street from the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center). It is built one foot above the 2008 flood level and houses juvenile probation offices, Juvenile County Attorneys and the juvenile court functions that were in the lower level of the Courthouse on May's Island. The building has a sally port for added security and safety.

The new building will meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, a certification program that encourages green and sustainable building practices. It will reduce the lifetime operational cost and greatly improve energy efficiency.

The Juvenile Justice Center is one of five Linn County buildings that displays public art.

The building opened October 31, 2011.

The project was funded with a $3.7 million state I-JOBS grant and $2.9 million from Linn County disaster recovery bonds.

Learn more at www.linncounty.org.


Funding Sources: 
  • $3.7 million I-JOBS
  • $2.9 million Linn County Disaster Recovery Bonds

Linn County Correctional Center


Community Investment: $7.6 million
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 53 Third Avenue Bridge

Description: The Linn County Correctional Center reopened in May 2009 while Linn County was still completing some mitigation work with FEMA to reduce the severity of damages should there ever be another flood of the magnitude of 2008.

While making flood repairs, improvements are also being made to the Linn County jail including building a three-story addition on the south side of the building. The improvements and addition (referred to as Phase II) fulfill multiple needs at the jail and the Courthouse.

The driving force of Phase II is mitigation. Highlights of the plan include elevating mechanical and electrical equipment that powers the jail and the Courthouse to an upper level to protect the equipment in the event of another flood and converting the jail's two main hydraulic elevators to traction control elevators. A traction elevator will be protected from future flooding because the mechanics of a traction elevator are not located in the lowest level of the building as they are with hydraulic elevators. The jail's laundry room has moved to an upper level as part of the mitigation. In its place, isolation cells have been constructed on the main level.

Other improvements include expanding the jail's kitchen to improve efficiency. When the jail was built in 1984, it was designed for 135 inmates and the kitchen was designed to serve that number. The capacity of the jail has now grown to 409 inmates and the kitchen design has not kept up with the increase in capacity. Expanding the kitchen creates greater efficiency in its operation.

The project was funded by $3.5 million from FEMA and $4.1 million from Linn County disaster recovery bonds.

Mitigation included:
• Elevated mechanical and electrical equipment
• Moved laundry room to an upper level
• Converted hydraulic elevators to traction control elevators

Website: Visit www.linncounty.org for more information.


Funding Sources: 
  • $3.5 million FEMA
  • $4.1 million Linn County bonding

Community Services Building of Linn County


Community Investment: $16.3 million
Status: Completed 

Address: 1240 26th Avenue Court SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: Linn County is pleased to announce that the new Community Services Building of Linn County is now open. Located at 1240 26th Avenue Ct. SW in Cedar Rapids, the Community Services Building is Linn County’s first new construction project to open following the 2008 flood and houses many of the County’s human services departments. The building opened in August 2011. Free parking is available onsite.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors dedicated the Community Services Building in honor of former Iowa Governor Chet Culver for his dedication and assistance in securing I-JOBS funding to help construct the building. The Community Services Building of Linn County promotes efficiency in government by bringing together departments that were in four separate locations prior to the 2008 flood.

The following Linn County departments are located in the Community Services Building:

• Aging and Disability Resource Center
• General Assistance
• Home Health
• Information Technology
• Linn County Community Services – Core Services/Administration
• Linn County Community Services – Core Services/Fiscal
• Linn County Decategorization / Early Childhood - Iowa (formerly Empowerment)
• Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities (MHDD)
• Options of Linn County
• Safe Havens Family Visitation Center
• Veteran Affairs

The building is home to three distinct areas of public art.

Website: www.linncounty.org


Funding Sources: $9 million from FEMA, a $5 million state I-JOBS grant, and $2.3 million from Linn County disaster recovery bonds. The Community Services Building of Linn County will meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, an internationally recognized green building certification system. 

Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center


Community Investment: $14.8 million
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 935 2nd Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: Linn County redesigned the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, located at 935 2nd Street SW, by carefully considering ways to improve customer service and increase efficiency at the same time. Examples of customer service improvements include:

  • Relocated the Treasurer’s Office from the second floor to the first floor for convenience because more than 75 percent of people who visit this building come to do business with the Treasurer’s Office.
  • Added a customer service numbering system and seating to the Treasurer’s Office to eliminate standing in line.
  • Relocated the Recorder’s Office, the Auditor’s Office and the County Assessor’s Office together on the second floor because they often work together on land-related issues. Having them conveniently located together will make it easier for the public and will enhance efficiency of employees who work together on many common issues.
  • Added seating for the Planning and Development customer service counter, which was not an option previously due to the high counter-tops.
These types of changes were possible because Linn County took the time to thoughtfully study how County business is conducted with the public and how the public could be better served.

The Public Service Center will be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified—a certification program that encourages green and sustainable building practices and results in energy efficiency. The renovations also included flood mitigation to protect against future flood threats.

130 employees work in the following Linn County departments located in the Public Service Center:

Board of Supervisors
Auditor’s Office
Civil Attorneys
Finance and Budget
Human Resources
Linn County Assessor’s Office
Planning and Development
Purchasing / Mailroom
Recorder’s Office
Risk Management
Treasurer’s Office

Free parking is available in the parking lot and on the street. The project is funded with a $4.4 million state I-JOBS grant, $4.5 million state appropriation, $4.2 million from FEMA, $1.3 million in county funding, and $400,000 from other grants. Learn more at www.linncounty.org.

Funding Sources:
  • $4.4 million I-JOBS grant
  • $4.5 million State appropriation
  • $4.2 million FEMA
  • $1.2 million Linn County
  • Department of Energy grants

Revitalization of the Downtown Parking System


Community Investment: $2 million in two new ramps and $3 million annual operating budget. Total: $5 million
Status: Ongoing over multiple years

Address: Downtown Cedar Rapids

Description: The City of Cedar Rapids turned over management of the downtown parking system to the Downtown Parking Management, Inc. in April 2011, which was overseen by the Downtown District. When the Downtown District merged with the Chamber of Commerce and Priority One, creating the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Economic Alliance took the role of overseeing the parking management team. The Economic Alliance does not take a management fee for its role in overseeing the system. All net revenues of Park Cedar Rapids are reinvested back into the public parking system. The parking system is now self-sustaining and has the ability to utilize the funds to address critical maintenance and system improvements. The transfer of system oversight from the city was the first of six “Primary Action items” outlined by the Parking Strategic Action Plan approved unanimously by the City Council and the Downtown SSMID Boards in 2010. The plan remains focused on supporting not only parking, but the overall economic development goals of downtown and serves as the road-map to revitalization of the system.
Some examples of recent improvement projects funded by parking revenues include:
  • 2 new parkades (Southside Ramp and Convention Complex Ramp) 
  • A 24/7 Parking Amenity program that includes free service for jump starts, tire fills and security assistance
  • First Hour Free Program in Third Ave and Five Seasons ramps
  • Replacement of the flood-damaged Parking Access Revenue Control System, which allows for better capacity management
  • Seasonal complimentary parking shuttle
  • Thorough power-washing and re-striping of all the parking ramps
  • The addition of 47 credit and debit card enabled multi-space parking meters
  • Security cameras to monitor the entrances and exits of all parking ramps and portions of the skywalk
  • Installation of energy-efficient lighting within several facilities

A clean, safe and customer-focused parking system is a vital part of the downtown experience.

Community Partners: Downtown Parking Management, Inc.; City of Cedar Rapids; Park Cedar Rapids; Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Board of Directors; Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Commission

Website: http://www.parkcedarrapids.com/

Czech Village - New Bohemia Main Street District (CVNB Main Street)


Community Investment: Approx. 100,000 per year given through grants to assist rehabilitation projects in the District.
Status: In progress.

Address: 
Office location: 101 16th Ave SW, Suite A
District Boundaries:In New Bohemia, roughly bounded by 8th Ave SE (North), UP rail lines (East), includes former Sinclair site (south), Cedar River (West). In Czech Village: 12th Ave SW (North), Cedar River (east), 17th Ave (south), comes to point at intersection of 12th/16th Ave Sw and 1st St W.

Description: Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District is a vibrant urban neighborhood model for historic preservation and economic development in the Midwest, a destination for both residents and visitors. Building on its unique history, the District is a dynamic arts and culture venue that will provide interesting, authentic, and enriching experiences with a variety of shopping, dining, arts, and cultural entertainment opportunities that are only found here. The District has experienced dramatic changes since the 2008 flood and continues to grow and prosper with new businesses and redevelopment projects announced regularly. Check the website frequently for updates and a current list of businesses and events, http://www.crmainstreet.org

Blue Zones Project



Community Investment: N/A
Status: Although the Healthways time is limited, we hope this project will continue to grow in Cedar Rapids.

Address: TBA

Description: The Blue Zones Project is based on Blue Zones principles developed by Dan Buettner and is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016 as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents' health and well-being. Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better lives by taking a systematic, environmental approach to well being, with a focus on optimizing policy, social networks and environments where people spend their time. In January 2013, Cedar Rapids was named a Blue Zones Project demonstration site. Cedar Rapids is receiving assistance from national experts to develop and implement a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives. Find out more and get involved at www.bluezonesproject.com


Jan 20, 2011

CSPS Hall


Community Investment: $7 million 
Status: Completed and Open to the Public


Address: 1103 Third Street SE

Description: This project focused on a landmark building that's played a key role in Cedar Rapids' cultural life for nearly 120 years. Damaged by flooding in 2008, CSPS Hall was acquired by the innovative nonprofit Legion Arts in 2010. The structure was fully repaired, restored and expanded; and in 2011 was reopened as an arts center for the 21st century. The rebuilt and remodeled CSPS accommodates, on the upper levels, three galleries, a theatre, and a historic bar. The ground floor has been reconfigured to include a new multi-purpose performance studio; classroom and meeting space; three retail operations; and an arts incubator for emerging arts enterprises. Next door, an historic 1916 firehouse has been converted to a combination residence-workspace for visiting artists. Altogether, the renovated complex serves as inspiration and anchor for the burgeoning New Bohemia district.

Community partners: I-JOBS, State Historic Tax Credits, Hall-Perrine Foundation, The City of Cedar Rapids, Rockwell Collins, AEGON, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Gazette Foundation, Linn County, United Fire Group, Lil' Drug Store Products, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, Altorfer, The Bloomhall Family Fund, Diamond V Mills, McGrath Automotive and Solum Lang Architects and Ryan Companies USA as well as many community supporters

Website: http://legionarts.org/

Jan 11, 2011

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection of Drinking Water at Water Treatment Plants

Addresses: J Avenue Water Treatment Plant at 761 J Ave. NE & Northwest Water Treatment Plant at 7807 Ellis Rd. NW

Description: Recently the Cedar Rapids Water Division added an Ultraviolet Light Disinfection System as an additional level of protection to the current water treatment process. The ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses in the water. The Water Division is committed to delivering clean, safe water to Cedar Rapids’ homes now and into the future. The addition of UV System to our existing water treatment process allows the Water Division to effectively address customers’ needs for many years to come. 

Funding Sources: State Revolving Loan Fund, Cedar Rapids Municipal Utility Customers (user fees)
Project Cost Estimate: $40 million for the installation of UV treatment at both water plants including a new pumping station at the J Avenue Water Treatment Facility
Estimated Timeline: Construction is complete

Water Pollution Control Reconstruction

Address: 7525 Bertram Rd. SE

Description: Water Pollution Control provides advanced wastewater treatment for residents and businesses in the Cedar Rapids area. The facility was heavily damaged during the Flood of 2008, but was able to recover and provide basic treatment services within 12 weeks. Several areas of the facility are currently under construction, including the main lift station, incinerator, generator controls, anaerobic reactor, clarifier rehabilitation and flood protection. It may take up to eight years to fully recover from the flood. Throughout this period the Water Pollution Control Facility will strive to provide the highest quality service to our customers and meet or exceed all regulatory requirements.

Funding Sources: FEMA repair funds
Project Cost Estimate: $89 million
Estimated Timeline:
2012 - Design complete
2012 - Construction begins
2015 - Construction complete

West Side Fire Station No. 3


Community Investment: $2.8 million
Status: In progress (Opens October 2013)

Address: 3520 Crestwood Drive NW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: A new west side fire station will be constructed at 3520 Crestwood Drive NW and will serve as Fire Station #3. This neighborhood fire station is scheduled to open in October 2013. The construction of the Central Fire Station at 713 1st Avenue SE will allow the Fire Department to relocate the existing Fire Station #3 from 1424 B Avenue NE. The realignment of fire stations in Cedar Rapids will vastly improve response coverage and increase the area of the City that is within 1.5 miles of a fire station by 8.93 square miles, or 12.5 percent. The new fire station will be 8,120 square feet and have two double-deep fire apparatus bays. There will be four firefighter dormitories, a Captain’s Office, exercise room, kitchen and living room. The additional fire station on the west side of the City will improve the goal of emergency crews arriving at the scene of an incident within five minutes by nearly 20 percent. The Fire Station 3 district will include sections of the City west of the Cedar River and growth areas towards the western outskirts of the City limits that have grown by nearly 20,000 citizens over the past 15 years. The total project cost for the new Fire Station #3 is $2.8 million, with $1.6 million from a state I-JOBS grant and $1.2 million from City funds. Timely response increases the odds of saving lives and reducing property loss. For example, a pulseless, breathless patient has a 90 percent chance of survival if the first shock from a defibrillator is delivered within one minute of cardiac arrest. The odds of successful recovery decrease approximately 10 percent for every minute that passes, which highlights the need for strategically located fire stations and medically-trained firefighters. For fires, a room and contents fire can accelerate to a fully-involved structure fire in eight minutes.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/city-news/crprogress/cityfacilities/Pages/FireStationNo3.aspx


Central Fire Station


Community Investment: $20 million
Status: Near completion (Opens October 6, 2013)

Address: 713 1st Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids


Description: The Fire Department’s new Central Fire Station will be located at 713 1st Avenue SE. The Central Fire Station is scheduled for completion in mid-September with a grand opening for the public planned during Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, 2013. When completed, the Central Fire Station will have an Engine Company, Truck Company, Rescue Company and Battalion Chiefs that will respond to emergency incidents. Traffic preemption devices will be installed to minimize traffic disruption and provide safer response from the fire station. In addition to shift firefighters, the Fire Department’s administrative offices, including the Fire Marshal’s Office, will be located at the Central Fire Station. There will be a City Emergency Operations Center at the fire station as well. The new fire station will be 67,140 square feet and will utilize underground parking. The building is being designed to embrace sustainability with the goal to achieve LEED Platinum certification, which has been achieved by only a few fire stations across the nation. The Central Fire Station is an example of responsible growth, building only what is needed and where it is needed to serve the community. The ready access to the interstate highway and First Avenue will allow efficient response to all areas of the City. The community will find that the Central Fire Station embraces the history and image of the original Central Fire Station (formerly Science Station). The project is funded by $15 million from FEMA repair funds and $5 million from a state I-JOBS grant. The overall project budget totals $20 million.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/


Animal Care & Control Facility


Community Investment: $4.55 million
Status: In progress (Opens October 2013)

Address: 900 76th Avenue SW, Kirkwood Community College Campus


Description: The new 14,100 square foot building is located on land donated by Kirkwood Community College. The new building will feature a central lobby, adoption mall, interaction rooms, species separation holds and a 900-square-foot training classroom for staff and Kirkwood students. The new facility accommodates up to 43 dogs and 124 cats for the Cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion. The project is funded with $1 million from FEMA repair funds and $3.55 million from Local Option Sales Tax revenues.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/government/departments/animal-control/pages/default.aspx


City Services Center


Community Investment: $36 million
Status: In progress (Office Building Opens September 2013 & Operations Warehouse Opens Summer 2014)

Address: 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: The flood-damaged Public Works building will be replaced with a new 317,737 square foot City Services Center made up of an office building and an adjacent operations warehouse built in two phases. Construction of the new office building began last fall. City employees will move into the new facility in September in preparation for the next phase, where the old facility is demolished and construction begins on the warehouse. The facility will house more departments and divisions than ever before. The Fleet Services Division, Information Technology Department, Parks & Recreation Department and Wellness & Safety Division will join the following departments and divisions that currently reside in the Public Works facility: City Assessor’s Office, Building Services Division (formerly Code Enforcement Division), Facilities Maintenance Division, Public Works Department (including Construction Engineering Division, Engineering Division, Street, Sewer and Forestry Maintenance Divisions and Traffic Engineering Division), and the Solid Waste & Recycling Division. The project is funded with $18.5 million in FEMA repair funds, a $5 million state I-JOBS grant and $12.5 million in City funds.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/city-news/crprogress/cityfacilities/Pages/CityServicesCenter.aspx

Veterans Memorial Building


Community Investment: $20 million
Status: Near completion (Fully Completed Late 2013)

Address: # 50 2nd Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA


Description: Built in 1927 the Veterans Memorial building is an icon of the Cedar Rapids skyline - the building or "coliseum" was constructed to serve the community in honor of all veterans. It is home to a Grant Wood designed memorial window holding more than 8,000 individual pieces of hand blown stained glass. The building features a rendition of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier atop an eight story tower and a gold plated "eternal flame" at the very top. Near future plans include a museum gallery space devoted to the history of local veterans, organizations and rotating exhibits. Additional veteran programming and services for disabled veterans will include a fitness center and cultural program entitled “The Great Books Foundation". An auditorium, ballroom and conference meeting space will be available for rent. Class A commercial office space will also be available for lease to be completed late 2013.


Funding Sources: Federal FEMA, State of Iowa I-JOBS, & Veterans Memorial Commission funds.

Website: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/

Kosek Building/Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau


Community Investment: $1.9 Million
Status: Completed and open to public

Address: 87 16th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Description: Following the Flood of 2008, the first goal of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library’s (NCSML) recovery plan was achieved with the return to Czech Village in the historic Kosek building. This site houses a major exhibition entitled Rising Above: The Story of a People and the Flood. The building is also home to administrative staff, a classroom for school tours and groups, as well as a Museum Store. The Kosek Building will continue to be considered a permanent addition to the NCSML campus that serves as an educational destination for school tour groups. The building is also home to administrative offices for the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) with proper technical infrastructure for efficient operation. The Museum Store in the Kosek building serves as the official CVB Welcome Center greeting visitors from around the world. Learn more about the NCSML at http://www.ncsml.org and the CVB at -http://www.Cedar-Rapids.com"




Jan 10, 2011

U.S. Courthouse


Community Investment:  $120 million  
Status: Complete

Address: Seventh Avenue SE

The new United States Courthouse is a powerful civic building, intimately connected to its site and the city. The courthouse is located at the terminus of First Street. At this prominent location, a line of tall, slender columns frame views through a seven-story, highly transparent glass wall to an interior wall made of Iowa limestone. The courtrooms entrances are all clearly visible within this wall. The rhythm of the columns, the transparency of the glass, the solidity of the stone and the visibility of the courtrooms work in concert to create an architecture that speaks both to the openness and approachability of democratic institutions and the stability and order promised by the law.

Community Partners: OPN Architects, Ryan Companies US Inc, The City of Cedar Rapids, 2001 Development Corporation

Website: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/163627

Jan 7, 2011

Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVHFH) Downtown Area Reinvestment


Community Investment: $3 million         
Status: Ongoing

Address: 350 6th Avenue SE (Offices/ReStore) / 1125 4th St NW (Construction)

Description: By the end of 2013, CVHFH will have built 11 new homes on previously flooded core neighborhood lots, fully rehabilitated eight flood-impacted homes and completed more than 30 owner-occupied exterior repair/painting projects in Wellington Heights. The ReStore discount home improvement outlet is thriving in its downtown location, generating more revenue than ever before in support of Habitat’s dynamic homebuilding ministry.

Community Partners: City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation, The Dummermuth Family, Scott Olson, Horizons, Matthew 25, Affordable Housing Network Inc, Neighborhood Development Corporation, Housing Fund for Linn County, Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association, St. Pius X Catholic Church, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, McIntyre Foundation, Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Greater Cedar Rapids Area Home Builders Association, Cedar Rapids Area Association of REALTORS and hundreds of other generous individuals, churches, businesses and community groups throughout the area.

Website: http://www.cvhabitat.org/cvhfh/

Riverfront Amphitheater


Community Investment: $7.1 million for Amphitheater
Status: Amphitheater Opens August 2013


Address: Riverfront Amphitheater: First Street SW, between Third and H Avenues

Riverfront Amphitheater: The naturalized Riverfront Amphitheater, located on the west bank of the Cedar River near the police station, serves as a gathering space for community events in the heart of the city and as an outdoor entertainment venue with a capacity of 3,000 to 5,000. It is expected to host touring events, local performances, and will be available to be rented for private events. The amphitheater will have three entrances, public art, a donor garden, vending areas, seat walls, and landscaped seating areas. It will be open as a park to the public during times when events are not scheduled and will have public Wi-Fi. Parking will be available at a nearby park area along 8th Avenue with trail access to the amphitheater along the river and at nearby lots within a short walking distance. The amphitheater holds significance as the first piece of flood protection for the west side of the river. It is built into a levee and the donor wall also serves as a removable flood wall. It will connect to future pieces of the flood protection system. Total construction costs are $7.1 million, of which $2.9 million was received through state grants and $2 million was raised privately. The project has reached 97 percent of its private fundraising goal with less than $50,000 to be committed. Donations will be accepted by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.



African American Museum of Iowa


Community Investment: $1.3 million
Status: Completed and Open to Public

Address: 55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids


Description: Following renovations, museum staff moved back into the building in December 2008 and the museum reopened to the public in early 2009. All programming resumed in 2009. A new permanent exhibit titled "Endless Possibilities" replaced the former exhibit. This exhibit tells the story of Iowa's African American heritage. Currently the museum features a new changing exhibit called Western Africa, Before the Boats. Nearly all Cedar Rapids elementary schools visit the Museum on field trips.   

Website: http://www.blackiowa.org/

MedQuarter Regional Medical District (MedQ)

 officially Cedar Rapids Medical Self Supported Municipal Improvement District                             

Community Investment: $50 Million+              
Status: In progress (Multi-year development)

Address: 54 square blocks within the Downtown area of Cedar Rapids anchored by the two hospitals.


Description: The MedQuarter Regional Medical District (MedQ) was the result of Vision Cedar Rapids 2007 and the 2009 Neighborhood Planning Process, which developed districts to grow Downtown Cedar Rapids. The MedQ is a revitalization partnership committed to promoting a dynamic urban medical community to improve quality of life, advocate for new businesses and jobs in a defined medical district. In 2011 the MedQ was established due to the support provided by property owners in the 54 square blocks of the downtown area anchored by Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital. The Commission was appointed by the Mayor/City Council and immediately established the funding for future improvements for the district. To further propel the projects for the MedQ, three committees were formed in 2012: Branding & Marketing, District Services and Master Development Plan. The Commission has hired website developer Informatics to redesign the MedQ website and make it an informational and robust resource for patients, medical providers, businesses and visitors. Additionally, the Commission is in the early stages of developing a bold and action-oriented master development plan that will help establish the MedQ as a nationally recognized medical destination.

Significant improvements have already been made in the district with the establishment of the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center and Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion as they have been catalysts for further growth and development. The MedQ will be a national destination where many healthcare needs are met in a localized area helping to enhance the appearance, vitality and economic stability for downtown Cedar Rapids.

Community Partners: Cedar Rapids Medical Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Commission

Website: http://crmedicaldistrict.com/