Neighbors express concern over preliminary plan at former Transamerica site

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Hunter Companies is looking to bring in mixed-used development to the former Transamerica site on the corner of Edgewood Road NE and 42nd Street NE in Cedar Rapids, calling it the North River Center addition.

Close to 100 people gathered in the parking lot at the old Transamerica site Monday night to discuss Hunter Companies’ preliminary plan for the site. They want more specifics about what would go in the more than 51-acre property.

The Cedar Rapids-based contractor has the site under contract for purchase. Staff heard questions from dozens of neighbors during a meeting Monday evening on its proposed North River Center addition.

The proposed plat would reconfigure the 52.4-acre property, taking out ponds, the remaining structure, and even parking lots. There are no committed users, but Hunter Companies staff listed banks, credit unions, dentist offices, and convenience stores as possible options to go on the plot.

Many neighbors at the meeting raised concerns about increased traffic in the area.

”Everybody has so hard of a time getting in and out of their homes, getting emergency response vehicles in, getting ambulances in, getting firetrucks. When school has an event it’s manageable, when school comes and goes it’s manageable. Any more than that it’s getting to the point where we can’t go anywhere,” Dave W., who lives near the site, said.

Nancy Buss lives just a few streets from the site. She’s worried about plans to remove the existing line of trees that serve as a buffer for neighbors.

“We have as a city lost so many trees, and that just kind of blows my mind,” Buss said. “We don’t want another gas station, we don’t need another nail salon, we don’t. We just want our trees.”

Hunter Companies declined to comment after the meeting.

For those in attendance Monday night, this is just the beginning of their engagement. The preliminary plat from Hunter Companies is set to go before the Cedar Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday, October 28, and many neighbors at Monday’s meeting say they plan to attend.

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