116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The large, multifamily apartment project being built on the former YMCA site in Marion broke ground Monday morning.
Green Park Apartment Living, on the corner of 10th Avenue and 31st Street, will offer 147 one- and two-bedroom apartments in two buildings.
The space also will have an outdoor dog park, pickleball courts and firepit gathering areas.
Previously, the plan was to build the same number of units in three buildings, but developer Dave Drown, president of GLD Commercial of Cedar Rapids, said building two will help the project come online a little faster while maximizing green space.
“There’s been pent-up demand for a variety of types of multifamily,” Drown said, noting the importance of “locations, amenities and price points.”
“For this one in particular, it’s unique to have an infill development instead of building on the outer edge of a community,” he said. “And this is in reasonable walking distance to grocery stores and many other businesses.”
Geoff Franzenburg, commercial construction manager for Compass, part of Hiawatha’s Ahmann Companies, said the first 69-unit building should be done by June 2023.
It’s hoped the second building would be completed a year later, he said.
Dirt has been moved at the site for weeks since the old YMCA was demolished. But Monday was the official kickoff, with city leaders and developers grabbing shovels and doing the ceremonial dirt scoop for the $25 million project.
Last fall, the housing project was awarded $1 million in workforce housing tax credits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
The old YMCA was more than five decades old when it closed in December 2020. The new YMCA opened in January 2021 at 3740 Irish Dr.
“I grew up one block over, and I spent my childhood at the YMCA,” Marion Chamber of Commerce President Jill Ackerman said. “This is a great reuse of this property.”
“It ties a bow on a great community project with the new YMCA,” Marion Economic Development Corp. President Nick Glew said. “It’s full circle. Taking an important community site and turning it into a neighborhood that will serve this community well.”
The Green Park apartments are just one of multiple multifamily projects being built around the city. Broad and Main in Uptown Marion aims to have its first building open this fall, and the Marion Boulevard Apartments just broke ground a few weeks ago at 640 Marion Blvd.
Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said it seems like the city went through a long phase of single-family development, but things are changing.
“Our single-family development is still going strong, but we’ve seen a big influx of these multifamily projects, and it’s an indication the community is growing,” AbouAssaly said. “As we get more people, we need more options so everyone can find housing that is right for them.”
AbouAssaly said the recent development haven’t happened by chance.
“We’ve spent years creating these opportunities for this growth to happen,” he said. “It happens when the community works to better itself and when the community invests in itself. All of that creates the momentum that results in this.”
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