Launch Slideshow

Convention Complex Architect: Tvsdesign, Atlanta, and OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, architects of record; AECOM, Kansas City, Mo., arena-renovation designers Completion: 2013. Brief: $70 million, 125,000-s.f. renovation of existing arena, expansion of flood-ravaged convention center.
  • Convention Complex Architect: Tvsdesign, Atlanta, and OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, architects of record; AECOM, Kansas City, Mo., arena-renovation designers Completion: 2013. Brief: $70 million, 125,000-s.f. renovation of existing arena, expansion of flood-ravaged convention center.

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    Convention Complex Architect: Tvsdesign, Atlanta, and OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, architects of record; AECOM, Kansas City, Mo., arena-renovation designers Completion: 2013. Brief: $70 million, 125,000-s.f. renovation of existing arena, expansion of flood-ravaged convention center.

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    tvsdesign

    Convention Complex
    Architects: Tvsdesign, Atlanta, and OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, architects of record; AECOM, Kansas City, Mo., arena-renovation designers.
    Completion: 2013.
    Brief: $70 million, 125,000-s.f. renovation of existing arena, expansion of flood-ravaged convention center.

  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Architect: Durrant Group, Dubuque, Iowa. Completion: May 2012. Brief: $25.8 million, 56,000-s.f. expansion of the relocated museum received $10 million from Iowas infrastructure investment initiative plus funding from other sources. LEED Silver certification anticipated.

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    National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Architect: Durrant Group, Dubuque, Iowa. Completion: May 2012. Brief: $25.8 million, 56,000-s.f. expansion of the relocated museum received $10 million from Iowas infrastructure investment initiative plus funding from other sources. LEED Silver certification anticipated.

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    Durrant Group

    National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
    Architect: Durrant Group, Dubuque, Iowa.
    Completion: May 2012.
    Brief: $25.8 million, 56,000-s.f. expansion of the relocated museum received $10 million from Iowa's infrastructure investment initiative plus funding from other sources. LEED Silver certification anticipated.

  • Oak Hill Jackson Brickstones Architect: Novak Design Group, Cedar Rapids. Completion: 2011. Brief: $19 million affordable brickstone row housing features 97 one- and two-bedroom units. Proximal to new courthouse, hospital, library, and arts district.

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    Oak Hill Jackson Brickstones Architect: Novak Design Group, Cedar Rapids. Completion: 2011. Brief: $19 million affordable brickstone row housing features 97 one- and two-bedroom units. Proximal to new courthouse, hospital, library, and arts district.

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    Novak Design Group

    Oak Hill Jackson Brickstones
    Architect: Novak Design Group, Cedar Rapids.
    Completion: 2011.
    Brief: $19 million affordable brickstone row housing features 97 one- and two-bedroom units. Proximal to new courthouse, hospital, library, and arts district.

  • U.S. Courthouse Architect: OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, and William Rawn Associates, Boston, Mass. Completion: 2012. Brief: $142 million, 289,000-plus-s.f. federal courthouse received disaster-relief funding after the 2008 flood and was fast-tracked by the Obama administration. Seeking LEED certification.

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    U.S. Courthouse Architect: OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, and William Rawn Associates, Boston, Mass. Completion: 2012. Brief: $142 million, 289,000-plus-s.f. federal courthouse received disaster-relief funding after the 2008 flood and was fast-tracked by the Obama administration. Seeking LEED certification.

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    OPN Architects

    U.S. Courthouse
    Architect: OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, and William Rawn Associates, Boston, Mass.
    Completion: 2012.
    Brief: $142 million, 289,000-plus-s.f. federal courthouse received disaster-relief funding after the 2008 flood and was fast-tracked by the Obama administration. Seeking LEED certification.

MARKET STRENGTHS

• Stable and diverse economy
• Proximity to Des Moines and Iowa City
• Opportunity to practice smart growth

MARKET CONCERNS

• Recovery from the 2008 floods
• Largely vacant downtown
• Slow residential recovery

“Cedar Rapids is still rebuilding from the 2008 floods, which damaged 10 square miles of our city—displacing thousands of residents, destroying more than 4,000 homes,” notes Kari Stillman, vice president of marketing and communications for the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Cedar Rapids is the seat of Linn County, which, flood notwithstanding, produced 24.9 million bushels of corn in 2010.

POPULATION & JOB GROWTH

Current population: 126,326. Total employment: 6.2%. Jobs have grown steadily since 2006, an average of 2% growth each year.

“Cedar Rapids’ economy is expected to grow by 30% over the next three years,” Stillman says. The metro area is expected to see employment expand 14.2% over the same period according to research firm Moody’s Analytics at economy.com. The impact of corn and ethanol production on the region’s growth can’t be overstated. “We’re the largest processor of corn in the world,” says Dee Baird, president of development for the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

”The residential market is slowly recovering, but the sale of large single-family homes is soft,” says James Novak, AIA, principal and architect for local firm Novak Design Group. “We currently have an interesting affordable housing project under construction … adjacent to the New Bohemia arts district.”

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET

Office space goes for under $6 (Class C) to over $14/s.f. in the central business district, with overall vacancy around 12% downtown. Industrial space moves at an average of $3.50/s.f., with an approximately 10% vacancy rate.

“We still have flood-damaged buildings that aren’t occupied,” says Scott E. Olson, AIA, a registered architect and commercial real estate broker for Skogman Commercial Real Estate at the Penthouse. “Rockwell Collins will occupy 82,000 s.f. when they relocate downtown this spring. That will bring the vacancy rate down by 2%.”

FORECAST

“It will be some of the most incredible years in our city’s history,” declares Daniel Thies, AIA, president of local firm OPN Architects. “With the reinvention of our city there is time for the economy to perhaps get righted in many ways.”