Plans to Demolish Cedar Rapids' Flood Damaged A & W Move Ahead

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 Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cedar Rapids City Council Tuesday night agreed with its Flood Recovery Committee and voted unanimously to demolish the flood-damaged A & W Family Restaurant on Ellis Boulevard NW two years after the city first moved to do so.

The council had been working with developer Baron Stark on a plan to renovate the former drive-in restaurant, but after many months, Stark was not able to secure financing for the project. A second request for renovation proposals from the city elicited only one, a new one from Stark. The council, though, last night rejected it for lack of financing.

"We looked at every avenue," council member Don Karr, who heads up the Flood Recovery Committee, explained.

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