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Construction starts on Big Grove Brewery’s fourth location
Also, Cedar Rapids council signs off on new commercial facility, larger Lil’ Drug expansion
CEDAR RAPIDS — Construction is now underway on a Big Grove Brewery in the heart of Cedar Rapids, bringing the award-winning local beer to the city this fall.
“This is not just any scoop of dirt, friends,” Big Grove tweeted earlier this week with photos of a construction worker moving dirt at the site. “It’s the first dirt scoop on our way to opening our new Cedar Rapids brewery this fall.”
The brewery is part of the $81.5 million mixed-use development taking shape at First Street SW and First Avenue West.
This facility will be Big Grove’s fourth location in addition to Solon, Iowa City and Des Moines.
Matt Swift, Big Grove co-founder and chief executive officer, previously told The Gazette a lager system will be built at this location, as Big Grove looks to “dial in on the lager and focus on traditional beers” with a longer fermentation process.
“We’re trying to really attach ourselves to the heritage of the community of Cedar Rapids” and tie into the city’s Czech roots, Swift said.
Edgewood Road SW commercial strip
A $5.4 million commercial building will take shape on Edgewood Road SW later this year.
The Cedar Rapids City Council this week signed off on a development agreement with 1395 Stamy Road to redevelop property at 2738 Edgewood Rd. SW.
The project involves the demolition of two existing buildings totaling 34,000 square feet to build a new 17,000-square-foot commercial facility.
Construction is slated to start this month and wrap up by Aug. 31.
Cedar Rapids is slated to provide a 10-year, 50 percent rebate of increased taxes generated by the project.
City Economic Development Coordinator Scott Mather said city staff estimate the project will generate $1.3 million in taxes, with about $223,000 rebated.
At least 15 full-time employees are to be employed at the facility on or after Nov. 1, 2025.
The council also approved amending the Westdale urban renewal area to incorporate the project into that area.
Lil’ Drug Store expansion
Additionally, the council amended a development agreement with Lil’ Drug Store Products for a 41,300- square-foot warehouse expansion to the current distribution world headquarters facility at 9300 Earhart Lane SW. The addition would be on the southwest side of the building.
In May 2017, the council signed off on a development agreement for a 104,000-square-foot facility.
Lil’ Drug, a beauty product supplier, acquired a company in Illinois and is consolidating business operations at its headquarters in Cedar Rapids.
With the amendment, the Lil’ Drug Store office and warehouse facility will total 145,300 square feet. The company is increasing its minimum investment from $12 million to $16.8 million under the modified agreement.
The number of employees also increased to 60 with the original 50.
The city will kick in a 10-year, 75 percent reimbursement of the new taxes generated by the expansion since the project qualifies for LEED certification, a measure of a building's energy efficiency.
“I think this is a prime example of a local company, multigenerational, that has really exploded in growth over the years,” council member Scott Overland said.
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