Those who frequently travel along 1st Avenue West in the past year have noticed a new two story structure taking shape between 6th and 7th Streets. The building, at 609 1st Ave SW, is one of many new urban infill projects in the core of Cedar Rapids and the latest project completed by the
Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC).
Founded in 2009, NDC’s mission is to plan, coordinate, and implement public and private redevelopment efforts in low and moderate income areas of Cedar Rapids, including downtown. The non-profit organization’s focus is on the acquisition and redevelopment of both commercial and residential properties consistent with established city plans and policies, such as the Neighborhood Planning Process.
The project at 609 1st Avenue SW, which was completed last month, includes 2,800 sq ft of new retail space and 5 new apartments in the core of Cedar Rapids. The location for the project was chosen because 1st Avenue is identified in the Neighborhood Planning Process as a major corridor for higher intensity mixed use development. The new building will help provide a gateway into the Taylor neighborhood to the south and the Time Check neighborhood to the north.
Other NDC projects include purchasing the former Village Bank building on the corner of 12th Avenue and 3rd Street SE in the heart of the New Bohemia District. The NDC was able to secure $275,000 in Historic Tax Credits for the renovation of the property, and then sold it to a developer who invested $1.5 million in private funds to renovate the building as a restaurant. The NDC has also purchased property at 12th Avenue and 6th Street SE which was sold to Sky’s Edge Development. The new mixed use building nearing completion on that site which was featured in the June issue of Building Community.
Initial Funding for the NDC came in the form of $1.5 million from the State of Iowa’s Community Disaster Grant Program. The NDC uses this money to purchase property and fund redevelopment in low and moderate income neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids. Other projects that the NDC has been involved in include the Single Family New Construction, or ROOTs Program, with 6 properties in the program.
The Executive Director of the NDC is Marty Hoeger, who joined the organization in 2010. Marty is a Cedar Rapids native who worked as a local developer for 15 years before joining the City of Cedar Rapids as Real Estate Disposition Coordinator in 2008. Led by a 9 person board of directors, which includes 1 City of Cedar Rapids Representative, 3 neighborhood representatives, and 4 members of the business community, the NDC is guided by individuals who are invested in the neighborhoods it serves and those with experience in construction, real estate, and financing.
Earlier this year the NDC purchased the former Cedar Rapids School District Warehouse at 605 G Avenue NW and is working on plans to renovate the building.