Neighborhood Development Corporation of Cedar Rapids works throughout the city to improve commercial and residential development opportunities, but our efforts focus largely on the neighborhoods directly affected by the 2008 floods that left much of the city underwater. We work to preserve the unique history and existing strengths of each neighborhood by selecting commercial and residential development projects that enhance opportunities for long-term growth and stability.
Below you’ll find a brief overview of each of the core neighborhoods in the flood plain. Our “Featured Neighborhoods” each provide an expanded look at the neighborhood, its character, and the challenges faced in redevelopment. For additional information on NDCCR projects in each neighborhood, see “Our Projects” section.
Given their unique character and history, as well as their positive blend of business, residential and public spaces, the following neighborhoods will feature prominently in NDCCR’s development programs. We’ve provided an overview of each, and a brief discussion of the challenges faced and the plans to revive the local business base.
Located near the downtown area in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Czech Village is a charming mixture of shops, businesses, and people that represent the ethnic history of the area. Woven into the Village is a wealth of information on Old World backgrounds and Czech influences, decorative details and personal histories. The Czech Village preserves irreplaceable historic structures in a previously thriving neighborhood setting built upon strong community. The restoration, and preservation, of the Czech Village is a centerpiece of the City’s flood recovery efforts, and a focus of NDC Cedar Rapid’s development programs.
The Downtown is the heartbeat and the center of banking, insurance and telecommunications industries. Downtown is home to cultural treasures such as the Paramount Theater, Theater Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Symphony. Several historical buildings have been converted into innovate retail, commercial and office space. The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce and the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are vital forces in promotion and economic development. The bridge location of the Cedar Rapids Public Library (the main building was destroyed in the floods of 2008) as well as the Science Station, Carl and Mary Koehler History Center and The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art provide opportunities for people of all ages to experience the arts and sciences.
Oak Hill Jackson/New Bohemia
New Bohemia is a bustling and vibrant blend of artists, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. In 2007 it was recognized by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs as a Cultural District. In 2002 The National Trust For Historic Preservation designated New Bohemia as the Bohemian Commercial Historic District. Third Street SE is the centerpiece of the New Bohemia District with such buildings as the C.S.P.S. Hall, The J.G. Cherry Building and the Village Bank. In May of 2009 the Iowa Department of Economic Development created the Czech Village/ New Bohemia Urban Main Street. Oak Hill is one of Cedar Rapids’ oldest neighborhoods and exemplifies a “company town” feeling. It is comprised of extremely modest homes that were built, owned, and maintained by the generations of working class citizens who made the “Parlor City” great. It is home to St. Wenceslaus Bohemian Catholic Church as well as Bethel AME. Metro High School is a shining tribute to Cedar Rapids commitment to educational diversity.
Time Check neighborhood was home to Time Check Recreation Center, which was an 11,000 square foot building surrounded by a green park area. The recreational center housed several rooms used for crafts, meetings, and other activities. It had a gymnasium, mini gym, softball field, game room, and a wading pool. The game room and gym provided space for family and community events. Harrison School, as well as businesses such as Diamond V, the historic Hubbard Ice Company and Cooper’s Mill Hotel and Restaurant are anchors of this neighborhood. In the 1800’s, many people from the area were employed through the railroad and they were issued “time checks” that were postdated due to the financial condition of the railroad. It prevented the banks from cashing checks until the railroad had enough money to pay their bills. The railroad workers had to wait until the date (time) written on the checks before they could cash them. The bank tellers would call out “Time Delayed Check” and it was shortened to “Time Check.”
In addition to Featured Neighborhoods, NDCCR also works citywide, including other flood-damaged neighborhoods. We also provide overviews of the following key development areas:
Additional Neighborhood Information
Cedar Rapids hosts numerous neighborhood associations and is working with dozens of non-profit groups and Federal programs on flood recovery and urban development projects in the neighborhoods profiled above and throughout the city. NDCCR works to coordinate development activities with these efforts, and encourages interested individuals, businesses and organizations to learn more about “the big picture” and how they or their business can get involved in the recovery.