Cedar Rapids' Kingston Village One Step Closer to Reality

By Rick Smith, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Kingston Village, directly across the Cedar River from downtown Cedar Rapids, continues to take small steps as it works to flower from idea to reality.

In one small step, the Cedar Rapids City Council now has agreed to negotiate an agreement with a local development group that plans to renovate a former pool hall for another commercial or office use and to construct a two-story building abutting it with first-floor commercial and office space and three apartments on the second floor.

The developer is calling the project at 301 and 305 Second Ave. SW Kingston Corner in a nod, as with the name Kingston Village, to the area's historic roots as the 19th Century town of Kingston.

By 1871, Kingston on the west side of the Cedar River was annexed into Cedar Rapids, then on the east side of the river.

Kingston Corner will sit diagonally across Second Avenue SW from the proposed site of the Cedar Crossing Casino.

The owners and investors of Kingston Corner are Jason Rogers, Frank Stephen III, Matt Miller, Tommy Le and Tyler Oswood, according to city documents.

The existing building at 301 Second Ave. SW and the lot next to it at 305 Second Ave. SW now are owned by the city, which purchased both in the city's flood-recovery buyout program.

The developer group plans to invest $1.4 million on the Kingston Corner project and will do the renovation first and build the new building in a second phase of the project.

Kingston Corner also sits directly across Second Avenue SW from the Linn County Sheriff's Office, and the exterior look of the Kingston Corner project will have Art Deco style features similar to the exterior of the sheriff's office, which used house the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

In a separate action, the City Council also is now seeking development proposals for a second city-owned spot in Kingston Village at 200, 210 and 212 Third Ave. SW.

An unnamed developer has approached the city with an interest in building a four-story, mixed-use building on the Third Avenue SW parcels, according to the city.

By law, the city must seek proposals from other potential interested developers and then must select the best proposal for city-owned development site.

Proposals on the Third Avenue SW property must be filed with the city by April 25.

Last year, the city entered into development agreements with a handful of different developers who are in the process of renovating flood-damaged commercial buildings in and around and including the historic Louis Sullivan-designed bank at 101 Third Ave. SW in Kingston Village.

The Iowa Racing & Commission is slated to make its decision on a state gaming license for the proposed Cedar Crossing Casino. The casino complex is a $150 million-plus entertainment venue with parking ramp.
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