An Old Favorite Returns to Cedar Rapids
By Nadia Crow, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- An old time favorite is making its way back after the floods of 2008. The A& W restaurant on Ellis Boulevard Northwest has been vacant since the flood. It used to be the pride of that neighborhood.
The flood ruined the restaurant, peeling off paint on the outside, and now mold and plants grow on the inside. But with the last of the red tape out of the way and a handful of other new businesses off Ellis, leaders in neighborhood say the best is yet to come.
"The process because of the federal involvement took about a year and a half. We now have approval by the state,” said Creative Development Solutions Owner Richard Luther.
The building can be re-developed despite that fact it was bought with federal buyout money and it sits in the 100-year flood plain. Tuesday, the city's council's expected to sell the property to local developer
And that's not all that's opening in the neighborhood. Partners David Keese and Donald Gallagher bought the flooded Chirp's Auto shop.
"We're remodeling the front end of the building to rent as a retail space,” said Chirp’s Co-Owner Donald Gallagher. They'll use the back to do their hobbies. They're also in talks with Matthew 25 to teach kids how to use tools and build stuff.
"A lot of people stop and express how happy they were somebody was doing something with the building and when the A & W opens, it'll just be a wonderful corner,” said Gallagher.
This is exactly what long-time resident Linda Seger hoped would happen here. The next step is to break ground on a time check recreation center. "There's a real need for the rec center for a place for our young people to go to for our seniors who attend,” said Seger.
It's all development to bring back on of the oldest neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids. The new developers hope to remove the grass around the building and build an outdoor patio so diners can eat on tables outside.
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