Smulekoff's explain decision to close - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Smulekoff's explain decision to close

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The inside of Smulekoff's Home Store looks just like it has for years but outside there's sign, an image that shows this 125-year-old business is about to close for good.

"Being a part of Cedar Rapids and being a part of downtown has always been has always been important to the family," said Theresa Blair, Communications Manager.

The family-owned business was one of the many flooded in 2008. The owners understand why flood protection is so important for the city, but they say a planned flood wall will push them out of this location. They'll no longer have the space to load and unload their trucks full of furniture.

"For us, it won't work any longer because we have those needs that have to met and we can't do it without a back dock and a place to stage furniture," said Blair.

City employees say that the final design of the flood protection system isn't done yet, so they don't know exactly how wide a flood wall in the area may be.

"Generally they do have a fairly large footprint," said Sandy Pumphrey, Project Engineer. "They obviously need to make sure that the water doesn't push them over in a flood event."

Smulekoff's president looked at options for moving, but says she felt none would work out and decided to close instead. 

City employees say they're working with all of the building owners to discuss how the flood wall may impact them.

"If we were a significant distance away, we would still involve property owners adjacent but there wouldn't be the design considerations necessarily," said Pumphrey. "It's just because we're so close."

One example is CRST, which is building its new headquarters across the street from Smulekoff's. The city is actually building the flood wall as part of that building's design.

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