116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Coralville-based developer Watts Group is looking to build a $10.7 million multifamily housing facility and two four-plex buildings at 705 16th Ave. SE in the Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood.
According to the details outlined Tuesday at the Cedar Rapids City Council meeting, the project will add 32 market-rate rental units and two four-plex townhome buildings at the site, which is owned by St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.
Of the 32 units, Scott Mather, the city’s economic development coordinator, said 24 would be one-bedroom units, and the other eight would be two-bedroom units. The five-story complex would have first-floor parking.
The city will provide a reimbursement of 100 percent of the added property taxes up to about $2 million.
Construction is slated to start in September 2023 and wrap up by April 2025.
Council member Ashley Vanorny said she hopes the project attracts a grocery store to the neighborhood.
“This is a lot of capacity being built there, so hopefully this is what tips it,” Vanorny said.
Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell said the city is recruiting grocers in the area.
This project is one of several that Watts Group is pursuing in Cedar Rapids, in addition to NewBo Lofts, which will add two 55-unit buildings at 455 16th Ave. SE, as well as the $22.2 million redevelopment of land west of the historic Brucemore estate for market-rate rental housing.
Council member Ann Poe, who chairs the council’s Development Committee, acknowledged the developer’s work in the neighborhood and said the proposed units are “lovely.”
“These are outside the box,” Poe said. “I love the small units in addition to the openness of this. Wow. This is really pretty amazing.”
Additionally, the council awarded incentives to 1395 Stamy Road LLC for the redevelopment of 2738 Edgewood Rd. SW into a $5.4 million, 17,000 square-foot commercial facility named Wiley Crossing.
The project qualifies under the city’s brownfield/grayfield economic development program, as its redevelopment requires demolition of the underused site. The buildings now there, totaling 34,000 square feet, will be demolished because of damage sustained in the 2020 derecho.
The project was awarded a 10-year, 50 percent rebate of the increased value. Staff estimate the project will generate $1.3 million in property taxes over 10 years, with $223,000 being rebated to the company.
Separate development agreements finalizing terms for both projects will come to council at a later date, likely in February.
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