Three new Cedar Rapids businesses coming to flooded New Bohemia - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Three new Cedar Rapids businesses coming to flooded New Bohemia districts

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Three new businesses are coming to CSPS Hall and the New Bohemia neighborhood in Cedar Rapids.

The three businesses recently signed agreements to lease the historic store-front spaces in the restored CSPS Hall. CSPS is operated by the non-profit Legion Arts.

Heidi and Troy Eiffert of Cedar Rapids run a photography business together.

The two had been looking for retail space and found it in the 120 year-old CSPS Hall sitting in the heart of the once flooded New Bohemia District.  They jumped at the opportunity.

'There's so much happening in the neighborhood and we're just super excited about being part of an art district," Heidi said.

The Eiffert's studio isn't the only new business seeing opportunity in the area.  The recently renovated Czech hall will also house a coffee shop and book store, both with local ties.

"As opposed to light manufacturing or something, these are businesses that really engage with the public and from that sense we're happy to have them here," said F. John Herbert, Legion Arts Executive Director.

The arts and entertainment district, once taken over by 12 feet of floodwaters, has a long way to go on its road to recovery.

But there's plenty of progress being made.

Through renovations to its historic buildings, the addition of new streetscapes, and projects like the New-Bo Market on the horizon, the area is coming back to life.

"In preservation, there's an element of economic development and through historic preservation, you can restore neighborhoods," said Brian Fagan, President of the Main Street, New Bohemia, and Czech Village District.

For the Eiffert's,  who fell in love with the neighborhood's historic charm, it's a chance to grow their business and in turn, play a role in the district's economic recovery.

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