Hunter Companies withdraws plan to redevelop former Transamerica property
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Hunter Companies, based in Cedar Rapids, was previously under contract to purchase and redevelop the more than 51-acre property at corner of Edgewood Road NE and 42nd Street NE. The proposal was for a mixed-use development.
Dave Watson lives near the former Transamerica property. He’s one of more than 100 people who attended the first neighborhood meeting with Hunter Companies on October 18th. Many neighbors walked away from that meeting with questions on what exactly would be built. “Traffic was a main concern. Blending whatever they built so it looked like we were still an existing neighborhood” says Watson.
However, neighbors say they were confused after hearing Hunter Companies withdrew its proposal. Despite initial concerns about what could be put into a mixed-use development, many were hoping to work with a local company like Hunter Companies to put something useful and positive for the community on the former Transamerica site.
Hunter Companies was set to offer its preliminary plat to the Cedar Rapids Planning Commission twice, at two separate meetings. The most recent, just last week. Both times, the plan was withdrawn from the agenda before the meeting.
“It was kind of difficult to try and get the conversation started so that they knew that we wanted them to build, we were anxious for them to build and be part of the community and buy the property and do what they needed to do to it. But also being able to fill us into the project,” says Watson.
Hunter Companies did confirm to KCRG-TV9 it will not be moving forward with the project, but not comment on why it withdrew its plans. The city of Cedar Rapids says at this point, it hasn’t seen any other development plans for the site.
Watson says he hopes any future plans will involve conversations with the people who live around the property, saying “I think everyone’s just anxious to see what happens next, who the next developer will be, and hopefully sit down and have a conversation with them so that they can hopefully work us in to their project.”
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