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College Commons apartments, businesses opening throughout August in Cedar Rapids

$6 million development designed as upscale housing alternative for Coe, Mount Mercy students

Work on the College Commons project at the 1400 block of First Avenue NE is virtually complete as of Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Eighteen apartments are scheduled to open for prospective tenants on Aug. 5, with four commercial businesses scheduled to follow suit through the end of the month. (Thomas Friestad/The Gazette)
Work on the College Commons project at the 1400 block of First Avenue NE is virtually complete as of Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Eighteen apartments are scheduled to open for prospective tenants on Aug. 5, with four commercial businesses scheduled to follow suit through the end of the month. (Thomas Friestad/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Apartments and businesses will open up next month at College Commons, a $6 million development within walking distance of downtown Cedar Rapids.

Construction on the project, which began in early November at the 1400 block of First Avenue NE, is virtually complete, with workers finalizing the building’s four commercial tenant spaces and performing landscaping work, said developer Brent Votroubek, of H&V Development, on Tuesday morning.

College Commons’ top two floors totaling 18 apartments — 16 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units and two single-bedroom units — are scheduled to open for prospective tenants next Monday.

The apartments were designed as upscale alternatives to university housing for students at Coe College and Mount Mercy University.

The first of the development’s commercial businesses, Scooter’s Coffee, plans to start operations Aug. 12, with Jimmy John’s and H&R Block to follow on Aug. 21, and Clean Laundry on Aug. 28, said Votroubek.

The project sits on land that once housed a 1905-built structure with potential ties to painter Grant Wood, plus a two-story office building and two commercial buildings that held a dentist office and a cigarette outlet.

The city approved a 13-year, 100 percent tax break on new property value. College Commons is expected to generate $1.2 million in taxes over that period, of which $937,736 would be reimbursed to the developer.

• Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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