Smulekoff's in downtown Cedar Rapids to shut its door - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Smulekoff's in downtown Cedar Rapids to shut its door

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A downtown landmark of more than 70 years, will be no more.

Smulekoff's in downtown Cedar Rapids has sold its furniture store to the city, even after surviving the 2008 floods.

The building has been the Smulekoff's location since 1942.

"I guess I am a little surprised. I thought that if they were going to be out of business they would have stayed out after the flood and not come back and then decide to move out," said Jean McCuster of Cedar Rapids.

KWWL has learned from the city of Cedar Rapids that the company has been in buyout negotiations for several months, but the reasons behind it are still unclear.

"I heard rumors that they're not going to be in business anymore at all," said McCuster.

Assistant City Manager Sandi Fowler says, Smulekoff's was eligible for a buy out program like many other businesses that were impacted by the 2008 floods.

Fowler says Smulekoff's decided to go with the $4.7 million buyout deal, leaving the city to take ownership the last day in December, and they're already making plans for what it could be.

"We are not aware of their future," said Fowler. "We expect that [the building] would have a mixed use or maybe primary housing we are very eager to have more downtown housing. We certainly look at that property as one that we would want developers to look at."

We tried contacting company leaders, but they're were unavailable to comment.

"I was kind of shocked because they've been downtown forever and they came back after the flood," said McCuster. "It's just a shame."

Smulekoff's has been in business for more than 120 years.

The $4.7 million the company will get is through the buyout program.

It does not include city tax dollars.

 

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