116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The city of Cedar Rapids plans to purchase a building for $2.5 million from United Fire Group to free up room at its police station and create more space for staff.
The move to buy the 27,186-square-foot building at 101 First Ave. SE would save the city millions in costs associated with constructing a new facility, city officials say. It also is in a prime location for the city, across from City Hall at 101 First St. SE.
“This is a great opportunity for the city,” City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said. “ … There is no other commercial real estate within that proximity as this building, so it makes it important that we have the ability to acquire this facility. It will allow us to expand and maintain a variety of city operations close to City Hall.”
The City Council is slated to consider the purchase Tuesday.
The police station at 505 First St. SW is reaching capacity, Finance Director Casey Drew said. Buying this property will allow some of its work divisions to move there. This purchase could save on constructing a new facility for an estimated $10 to $20 million.
Cedar Rapids plans to potentially relocate its Joint Communications Dispatch Center, expand locker rooms, create additional office space for staff and add more classroom or meeting space for the police department.
“We'll be able to add space and meet the needs of our department so that they can continue to perform their jobs,” Drew said.
Other uses for the building would include:
- Police department training
- Regional Police Academy classroom
- Police in-service training classroom
- Use-of-force simulator
- Offices for city departments in need of more space
- Training defensive tactics area
- Training simulation/scenario area
- Storage for Records Unit files
“We've never had adequate space at the police department for training, and public safety and police training is of critical importance to the officers and to the community,” Pomeranz said. “This will give us the space that we need.”
Staff still are vetting which other departments may get offices at the annex, Drew said.
The building originally was on the market for $2.7 million, Drew said, and the city was able to settle the price for $2.5 million after doing an independent appraisal. Pomeranz said the city expects some additional renovation costs and costs associated with moving certain things over, especially the Joint Communications Dispatch Center — but still far less than creating a new facility.
“We're pleased we're able to collaborate with an important company for Cedar Rapids for the benefit of both the community and the company,” Pomeranz said.
As part of the deal, United Fire and the city would enter into a 10-year parking space lease agreement for 10 reserved spaces in the adjacent private ramp at a monthly lease rate of $850, plus free parking from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays and 24/7 on weekends for another 10 parking spaces. These spaces are for city staff only.
After the council’s vote, Pomeranz said there would be about 30 days left in the 45-day due diligence period to buy the building.
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