Construction along First Ave in CR

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) Some Coe College students say they would like changes to First Avenue, due to run down buildings and a heavy police presence.

On Wednesday, a man was shot near the 1700 block of 1st Avenue. He is expected to be okay.

There was another shooting 1st Avenue, this summer. A woman got shot in the leg. Two other shootings happened near the area, just off of 5th Avenue.

Several college students tell TV9 they feel safe on Coe's campus, but would like to walk farther off campus with less worries.

Parts of 1st Avenue has a lot of older and empty buildings. And students say it's not always easy to walk around.

"I would really like to be able to walk down the street to a nice restaurant,” Eric Neely said.

City leaders have worked with staff at Coe College and Mount Mercy for more than a year to develop a "College District Plan."

"And that'll certainly be an area ripe for development you know first avenue is sort of a key spine through the neighborhood,” City Economic Development Analyst Caleb Mason said.

Mason says two projects are in the works now. One is next to Coe College, where crews are demolishing the old buildings.

"It'll have a residential component, two stories of residential and first floor being retail,” Mason said.

Another is just across the street. City developers are in discussions with the property owners.

"That one there is not as far along but more commercial retail type of project,” Mason said.

The city hopes the new developments attract other businesses.

"I think it would be a really great idea if they would tear down some of the old buildings that are on First Avenue,” Jacob Weis said.

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