Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance reveals update to Downtown Vision Plan

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:15 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A plan to make downtown Cedar Rapids more vibrant could include overhauling 3rd Street and remaking May’s Island.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance partnered with the City of Cedar Rapids, 2001 Development Group, and Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) to craft this Downtown Vision Plan with a consultant out of Colorado.

The organizations also interviewed 150 people and received nearly 1,500 surveys.

The proposal found that people want downtown to be safe, fun and easy to access no matter if you use a car, bike or walk.

Most people found the Downtown area needed more retail spaces, more programming and more kid-friendly places.

The survey also found that although the community has more than 20 hotels, only one is downtown, and the need for more places for visitors to stay is high.

Nikki Wilcox, Director of Strategic Development for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, said COVID forced many to work from home, which means fewer people in downtown.

“If people aren’t always working down here because they’re working remotely, how do we get them to want to come down here? And that is by again having fun, exciting things for anyone of all ages to do,” said Wilcox.

This was just an update to the plan, after adjustments, a final plan will be presented to the city council in November.