Big retailers in Collins Crossing facelift, but others leaving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Big retailers in Collins Crossing facelift, but others leaving

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

This is the beginning of the busy season for Wildlife Habitat in Cedar Rapids. Adding to that stress, owner Dan Waltz is also in the process of moving his business after learning his rent would go up 25 percent.

"It doesn't make any economic sense," said Waltz. "You're moving me out of the eyesight of Collins Road."

The strip mall his store is currently in is going to be seeing some major changes in the next year.

"With the Kmart lease expiring, it gave us an opportunity to come in and redevelop the property with some new tenants that are first in market," said Jeff Miller, Director of Development for RCG Ventures.

Those tenants include Hobby Lobby and Shoe Carnival and the first The Fresh Market and Home Goods in Iowa.

"It'll look like a brand new shopping center as if we built it right out of the ground," said Miller.

But to be a part of the new Collins Crossing, tenants have to pay up.

Only Video Games ETC! has signed a new lease.

Kmart is currently having its "store closing" sale. Some businesses, like Chuck E Cheese, have already closed their doors -- and right now those spaces are just sitting empty.

Others, like Wildlife Habitat, are getting ready to move.

"In the long term, I think it's going to be good for us," said Waltz.

Waltz purchased his new property near Center Point Road and 42nd St. NE so that, he thinks, he'll never have to go through this situation again.

The Cedar Rapids Drivers License station is also moving. They expect to move in January to 3526 Queens Ct. SW, which is near Edgewood Rd and Highway 30.

Construction on Collins Crossing is set to start in January. The new tenants are expected to open in the fall.

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