Cedar Rapids businesses excited as $71 million entertainment and mixed-use development advances

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:37 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The stretch of land at First Street and First Avenue W in Cedar Rapids has largely been unused since the flood of 2008.

Now, a proposed $71 million mixed-use development project could change that, with construction starting as soon as next summer. The Cedar Rapids City Council approved preliminary terms for the project from 1st &1st LLC last week.

Rebecca Weinbrenner, the owner of Dash Coffee Roasters on Third Avenue SW, has been looking forward to plans for the development, just a block away, for years.

“We’re just excited to finally get to the point where something is happening, and more people will be around! More people living here, more people visiting, more things on the southwest side of the river is always fun for us,” Weinbrenner said.

The proposed Kingston Landing project includes Big Grove Brewery, a pickleball concept restaurant bar and grill, and downtown housing options. It’s all in an effort to draw a crowd to the west side.

“More people is good for everyone. It’s good for the city, its good for revenue, its good for our small business...I’m excited about outdoor space. More patio is always a good thing,” Weinbrenner said.

The city council praised the plan during its meeting last week, and council members, including Ann Poe, emphasized using local labor as a priority to developers.

”I certainly hope you’ve heard the importance of using local labor for our projects and how that money goes around into our community and how it supports our community so please please keep our local labor folks in the loop,” Poe said.

Plans could still change but a final agreement is expected in November at the latest.

Weinbrenner said she’s excited to see the detailed plans come to life.

“Having additional parking over here. We’re kind of to the point where Kingston is getting crowded and so having a parking development is huge for even just us as we struggle to have parking in our area again,” Weinbrenner said.

The first phase of construction, which includes the block with the Big Grove Brewery, is expected to start in June of 2022.

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