First Avenue Developments for Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - An area in Cedar Rapids that hasn't had much development might be seeing some big changes.

A rendering of the building includes a Jimmy Johns and a Scooter's.

H and V development is proposing a new building with multiple storefronts and apartments on First Avenue near Coe College.

The stretch on that road has a lot of older and empty buildings. Some saying the area could use some work.

"I actually used to live around here when I was a kid. I know a lot of people are intimidated by the neighborhood not seeming the safest," Coe College student Dana Bekebrede said.

The possibility of new business and new apartments has students excited.

"I think having things that are more accessible, things that college students actually want to go I think will be really cool," Bekebrede said.

The college hopes the $6.4 million building will be a step in the right direction.

"Today's students really like things that are walk-able, and it's always been a vision of the uptown district to make First Avenue as walk-able as possible," Secretary of Coe College Rod Pritchard said.

City council member Scott Olson says it is already spurring more economic growth.

"There's already two other projects that are looking at the area... and I think what happens is when you make a multi-million dollar investment which has risk to it of course, it sends a signal," Olson said.

It is still tentative plan. It will be discussed again at a future city council meeting.

The developer will also have to knock down the buildings currently on the plot of land in order to build the new structure.

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