116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — A major redevelopment in Uptown Marion is aiming to open the first of its two buildings in the summer.
Broad and Main, under development by Eagle View Partners of Cedar Falls, is being built along Seventh Avenue where the Marion Square Plaza strip mall once sat.
The builders are already seeking commercial tenants for the building now under construction, developer Mark Kittrell said.
“We’re saying summer 2022 for the first building,” Kittrell said. “We have Skogman hired, working on commercial tenants right now, and we will probably start leasing residential units in the next month or two.”
One of the two buildings will be mixed-use, with commercial tenants on the first floor and 39 housing units on the second and thrid floors.
The other building, slated to open in 2023, will be residential only, with 42 units.
Kittrell said the project’s budget is on track — $13 million for the first building and $16 million for the second.
“We’ve been doing site work for the second building, and the last of the Marion Square Plaza will come down around the end of January,,” he said. “You’ll probably start seeing vertical construction work in the fall for that one.”
Kittrell said that right now the builders are focused on anchor tenants for the east and west spaces of the first building’s first floor. Though no tenants have been signed, the developers have certain types of businesses in mind for the space.
“The west one will be next to the Marion plaza so we have that planned for a beer hall with event space, and it’s also got a patio we’re working on. We are in talks with a few people for that spot,” he said.
“For the east spot, probably a fast casual (restaurant) with some carryout aimed at more families and young people,” he said.
The residential units will be one and two bedrooms, with an average rent of $1,100 per month, said Kayla Toale, Eagle View’s director of residential development.
Kittrell is Eagle View also is looking at the possibilities for the old Marion Public Library, 1095 Sixth Ave.
The library at one time considered locating a new library in a new mixed-use building on the strip mall site. It opted instead to build across the street from the old library, south of City Square Park.
Kittrell said his company “originally came to Marion with the intention to have more buildings there and establish a real presence in the Uptown area, and we intend to follow through on that. We’re very excited with what’s happening in the area, and you can see the changes.”
Kittrell said the original plan was to add another mixed-use building on the library block south of City Square Park, but that location could see townhomes or something similar if Eagle View Partners enters into a development agreement with the city for that spot.
“But it would 100 percent be some residential development there that would make a transition from the Uptown area to the single-family neighborhood that is south of that block,” Kittrell said.
Nick Glew, president of the Marion Economic Development Corp., said the city and its partners want to bring more people to Uptown Marion and provide housing so people can live there, too.
“Incorporating these denser housing options is just critical,” Glew said. “If somebody drives to Uptown Marion in the evening, you can see that new restaurants like Hip-Stir continue to complement existing businesses, and there is a ton of traffic.
“But the piece we are missing is the people living there,” he said. “We have some pockets of it, but we don’t have those options for numbers of people. With this project, bringing more people to Uptown will be transformational in the long term.”
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