Cedar Rapids already hearing ideas for casino land - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids already hearing ideas for casino land

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Now that Cedar Rapids cannot have a casino, there's a large plot of empty land up for grabs.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting the city was supposed to finalize a lot of the land deals with the Cedar Rapids Development Group, but with no gaming license there's no deal. Many are wondering what the city could build instead.

Much of the land is city owned due to the buyout program that came after the 2008 flood, and the City of Cedar Rapids still wants to see new developments on the west side of the Cedar River.

"Obviously the community had a lot of interest in this area and it's been targeted for the casino the last two years so we're just going to have to regroup and come up with another good use for it and I think we'll be able to do that," said Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor.

As soon as the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said no to a Linn County gaming license, ideas began pouring in from people throughout the area.

Several have suggested a water park. Others have said an aquarium, a planetarium, new housing, or even new shopping.

City leaders say they want a project that will bring private sector investment, putting the land back on the property tax rolls and they know finding the right project will take some time.

"We may not be breaking ground next week like we would have with the casino but we'll break ground eventually," said Corbett.

You may remember that Dan Kehl of Riverside Casino offered to build a water park if Linn County voters said no to a casino but voters said yes. He recently said that he has no plans for a water park now.
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