Downtown Cedar Rapids continues to grow 9 years after record flo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Downtown Cedar Rapids continues to grow 9 years after record flood

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Nine years after devastating flooding Cedar Rapids continues to move past the destruction. 

The water during the historic flood crested in the city on June 13, 2008 impacting more than 1,000 city blocks and forcing an estimated 10,000 people from their homes. 

The cedar river crested at 31.12 feet, it's highest of all time in Cedar Rapids. 

 Today it's a much different picture for the city, new businesses continue to open up and people are moving into downtown and surrounding areas like Newbo and Czech Village. 

The Blue Strawberry Coffee Company sits in the heart of downtown and is one of the businesses that survived the flood. 

"It was a major decision first of all because we re-invested a second time and really not knowing how long it was going to take," says Owner Mike Monnahan. 

A report from the property owners commission compares this year with 2007 which would have been the year before the flood. 

38 new businesses have been added to downtown and you can see them everywhere. 

One of the most recent is Backpocket Brew Pub which just opened a few months ago. 

 "It just seems like there's several more breweries popping up, locally owned places, a lot more bars and restaurants that have just been kind of popping up everywhere," says General Manager at Backpocket in Cedar Rapids Sarah Baricknin. 

The report from the property owners commission doesn't even count areas near downtown like Newbo and Czech Village which have seen their own growth with places like Parlor City and Lion Bridge Brewing Company. 
Some believe added housing prompted the growth. 
 "This vision was already going before flood, the flood was a blessing in disguise but the residential aspect is like the soul of it from my perspective," says Kevin Bassett of Cedar Rapids. 

The city says 850 housing units have been added downtown and in core neighborhoods allowing more people to live in and near downtown. 

In fact, the property owners commission report shows there are around 200 more homes in the downtown core now than there were before the flood. 


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