Work is underway now on a new $5-million dollar commercial development in the College District of 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids. And it’s something both city and district leaders have wanted to see for some time.
The project, called College Commons, is located at 1420 1st Avenue N.E. It’s a few blocks east of Coe College.
The three story building will have a coffee shop, sandwich shop, laundry and tax preparation businesses on the ground floor. That’s in addition to 18 apartments on upper floors.
Phil Wasta, president of the College District, says the buildings leveled to make way for the new construction were dilapidated and in a very visible and heavily-traveled portion of the city.
The new construction will be a definite improvement.
“One of the buildings was empty for many, many months. It was most recently a liquor store. And you just don’t want empty buildings like that for an extended period of time on a major avenue,” he said.
The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance says the College Commons project, and another one planned for the opposite side of 1st Avenue, is part of a trend of new construction coming closer to the College District area.
Owners say the project should open sometime next summer.