Rebuilding Cedar Rapids is on track - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rebuilding Cedar Rapids is on track


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - A new report finds that the city of Cedar Rapids is on right rebuilding track after the floods of 2008.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a land use and development research firm with credentials in post-natural and man-made disaster communities, has released a report from their June 2009 visit to Cedar Rapids, citing several downtown development strategies for reinventing a portion of downtown Cedar Rapids for economic growth and improved quality of life.

The report’s authors acknowledged that the 2007 Vision Cedar Rapids plan, the 2008 River Corridor Redevelopment Plan and the 2009 Neighborhood Reinvestment Action plans laid much of the groundwork for its recommendations.

The report’s summary of findings encourages the following strategies:

-Establishing and incentivizing new approaches to housing in downtown

-Retaining and remodeling the US Cellular Center

-Retaining and remodeling the Crowne Plaza Five Seasons Hotel

-Reimaging the arena, hotel and conference center street presence on 1st Avenue

-Establishing an iconic architectural focus in the remodeled US Cellular Center at the terminus of 3rd Street

-Planning for and nurturing a new arts, culture and entertainment district between 4th Street and the Cedar River


The ULI report stated, “Cedar Rapids can be proud of its many accomplishments since the 2008 flood. The successful launch of the recovery effort, the coordination of diverse ideas and interest groups, as well as the dedicated, tireless work of city employees, private individuals, and companies all show that this community is eminently capable of not only recovering from the flood but also reinventing its downtown.”


“The citizens that participated in recent planning processes laid the foundation for ULI’s work and deserve the credit,” said Christine Butterfield, community development director for the City of Cedar Rapids. “On behalf of the community, we thank ULI for their hard work to secure funding and for providing this important analysis that defines another piece of the road to recovery for Cedar Rapids.”


Representatives from several sectors of the community including the City of Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids Downtown District and the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau met with the panel to provide perspective on pre-flood development plans. Other research included tours, presentations and work sessions to ensure ULI was given as much information as possible to make informed recommendations.


the full ULI panel report can be found by visiting several community websites, including the City of Cedar Rapids (, the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitor’s Bureau ( or the Cedar Rapids Downtown District (


Online Producer: Maria Magner



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