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$1.5 Million awarded to Cedar Rapids downtown housing projects

Iowa Economic Development Authority
Iowa Economic Development Authority(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 2:30 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced that the state of Iowa awarded $1.5 million dollars in redevelopment tax credits for its Brownfield and Grayfield sites.

Under a proposal by developer Steve Emerson, the upper floors of the Iowa Building, located at the corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street SE, will be converted to downtown housing units. The Iowa Building is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered an Iowa Grayfield site. Grayfield sites are abandoned properties that are vacant, blighted, obsolete, or otherwise underutilized with some infrastructure in place. The state will contribute $750,000 in redevelopment tax credits for the project.

Another downtown Grayfield site being developed by Emerson will also receive $750,000 in tax credits to convert the old Skogman Realty headquarters property at 411 1st Avenue SE into the Palmer Building housing development. Both projects will add 84 housing units to downtown Cedar Rapids.

“These projects represent a significant investment in our vibrant downtown community,” said Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “The tax incentives from the State will lead to $21 million in construction and development for the city, not to mention increase housing, which is sorely needed in our downtown area.”

The State also awarded $75,000 to the Webb Acres Gala Barn project, which is located on the grounds of the former Iowa Braille School in Vinton.

“We are grateful that the state chose the Palmer and Iowa buildings for the Brownfield/Grayfield program,” said Emerson. “Revitalizing and repurposing buildings is a costly endeavor and would not be possible without help from state programs like these to fill construction cost gaps. We are excited and hopeful that our projects will increase the foot traffic in downtown Cedar Rapids and help our downtown businesses thrive.”

In total the state awarded $15 million in tax credit funding statewide.

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