Development changes at Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 3:21 PM CDT
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Development on the west side of Cedar Rapids is not going as once promised, by both developers and city officials.

Sections of Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids still sit empty.

Frew Development Group entered a deal with the city back in 2013.

UHAUL is opening a branch at Westdale Mall.

"It's concerning to see what's in place as a UHAUL instead of this Utopia."

Cedar Rapids native Jorel Robinson is referring to these initial renderings put out by Frew Development in 2013. Robinson closely follows the developments and said he's concerned about the city's involvement.

We want to make sure we get a return on investment as a city and what they are presenting to us is what we actually get."

In 2013, the city guaranteed an $11.5 million loan and agreed to tax incentives worth at least $20 million. Last year, the city council unanimously approved refinancing the loan through 2036-- saying it'll include higher rates for area property values.

TV9 pulled the numbers for property values that Frew Development owns. Property values have drastically increased in the area over the last five years.

"I know things change and property value up and down but the idea and the excitement stays the same."

Robinson says the excitement is diminishing surrounding the developments at Westdale.

A VA Outpatient clinic will move into this area. And construction in the area is focused on housing, rather than commercial. A mixed-use building with 33 apartment units is under construction now.

TV9 reached out to several council members and Frew Development Group for questions about the city and developers future of the area. We have not heard a response.

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