MedQuarter to hold public open house on master development plan

Officials seek Cedar Rapids community's feedback

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The Cedar Rapids MedQuarter medical district will host an open house Thursday night to solicit community feedback on plans for developing the medical district.

MedQuarter was the result of the Vision Cedar Rapids Downtown Framework Plan 2007 and the 2009 Neighborhood Planning Process, which developed districts to help grow downtown Cedar Rapids.

The open house will give all parties affected by the medical district an opportunity to discuss the planning process now in the works for the 55-square block district, from Fifth and Sixth Streets SE to 12th and 13th Streets SE.

The major medical providers in the district are Mercy Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital and Physicians' Clinic of Iowa.

During the open house, different stations will be set up to discuss specific topics such as land-use, character, transportation and the ultimate success of the district.

A steering committee was formed three years ago to check on the feasibility of developing a medical district, said John Albert, vice chair of the Cedar Rapids Medical Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District commission (SSMID) and chairman of the master development plan steering committee.

"We're looking for input and taking that input and using it in the development of the plan," he said. The goal is to "have a plan that would achieve the goals we're looking for great medical area in the community, provide the best medical care."

The commission hired the Lakota Group, a Chicago-based land-use and urban planning consultancy, who also will be in attendance Thursday.

"The point is to be able to lift everyone's boat within the district, to offer development within the district and enhance our medical that we have within the district and the community," Albert said.

"Our goal for the open house is to start an open dialogue with the community and area stakeholders to find out what opportunities exist to maximize the MedQuarter's full potential," said Scott Freres, president of the Lakota Group president.

The district has 119 unique property owners, Albert said.

If you go:

The MedQuarter public open house for community input on the master development plan will be held Thursday, May 23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion, 202 10th St. SE in Cedar Rapids. More information can be found at

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