Developer Given More Time to Bring Back Two Flood-Damaged Properties

By Rick Smith, Reporter

The Ellis A&W restaurant, 1136 Ellis Blvd. NW, remains untouched at the corner of Ellis Boulevard NW and K Avenue NW in the heart of the Time Check neighborhood after the June 2008 flood on May 18, 2009. Owner Doug Ward plans to find another home for his restaurant - away from the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids Assessor Scott Labus said the city lost about $70 million in commercial valuation because of last year’s flooding as well as $11 million in industrial and $138 million in residential valuation. Janet Rorholm/EdgeBusiness

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Developer Baron Stark stepped forward a year ago with plans to redevelop two visible flood-damaged properties, the former A&W Family Restaurant on Ellis Boulevard NW and a commercial building at 1501 and 1507 C St. SW at Czech Village.

Both commercial properties were purchased by the city in its property buyout program, and the city and Stark have signed development agreements to allow Stark to purchase and redevelop the properties.

Stark now is in default of the agreements, and the City Council on Tuesday agreed to extend the deadlines set out in the agreements.

Stark now has until Jan. 21 to close on the sale of the C Street SW property and to begin construction work on the site within two weeks after the closing date. He has until Feb. 8 to close on the purchase of the former A&W property and two weeks after the closing date to begin work on the project.

Development consultant Richard Luther, owner of Creative Development Solutions Inc. in Cedar Rapids, said Thursday Stark intends to meet the new deadlines.

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