Rockwell Collins to move 300 out of downtown

All workers will be out by April 2017

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CEDAR RAPIDS — After six years of housing its information technology department in downtown Cedar Rapids, Rockwell Collins will begin to move those 300 employees back into its main campus next month.

Rockwell spokeswoman Pam Tvrdy-Cleary said the decision to move them to 400 Collins Rd. NE was to co-locate them with the employees they work with and support.

“The city has been very understanding and cooperative of our decision,” she said. “We’ll remain committed to supporting the city and our community.

The avionics and communications company remodeled and took over the 82,000-square-foot space at 221 Third Ave. SE downtown in December 2010. It renewed its downtown lease in 2013.

Tvrdy-Cleary said the goal is to have everyone out by April 2017 — when the lease expires.

City council member and commercial Realtor Scott Olson said Tuesday that it’s disappointing to see Rockwell leave downtown, adding it will hurt the Town Centre building. The building is losing about 40 percent of its tenants, he said, including Rockwell as well as Bankers Trust and McGladery, which are relocating to the new CRST tower downtown.

“It will have an impact for a stretch on downtown businesses — the ones that serve coffee and lunch. There will be less people on the street,” he said.

Mayor Ron Corbett said the company initially moved those employees downtown on a temporary basis to help make a statement after the 2008 flood that “downtown is coming back.”

“Long term, I wish they’d stay downtown, but Rockwell must do what’s best for itself from a business standpoint,” he said Tuesday.

He noted CRST is relocating jobs downtown and a planned United Fire expansion.

“This in no way is a devastating blow to downtown,” he added.

Gazette reporter Brian Morelli contributed to this story.

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