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Be heard on downtown Cedar Rapids’ future
If you haven’t taken the online survey intended to provide public input on the Cedar Rapids Downtown Vision Plan, we urge you to do so.
The quick survey is not simply a chance for people who work or visit downtown Cedar Rapids to provide a laundry list of projects and developments they’d like to see downtown. The survey challenges residents to hone-in on their priorities for downtown development, presenting options such as expanded restaurant and bar offerings, entertainment venues and more downtown housing, to name a few.
It’s well worth your time to take the survey and help shape the future of downtown revitalization.
Because a new Downtown Vision plan is coming, with the help of Progressive Urban Management Associates, a Denver-based consulting firm hired to take a fresh look at downtown’s future.
Downtown’s role as a draw for employment has been jolted by the pandemic. More and more employees who once worked in the city’s core are now working fully or partially from remote locations. With the volume of employees downtown declining, the city is looking for options to draw residents back downtown for reasons beyond the workday.
Housing will be key, with an influx of downtown residents fueling the development of retail shops and other venues to serve their needs. Entertainment options can draw resident downtown, as well as expanded bar and restaurant options. Dreams of a downtown casino have been put on hold by the Legislature, so city leaders are hoping public input will lead them to other ideas.
Promising projects already are underway. The First and First West development is rising in the west bank of the Cedar River downtown, featuring a Big Grove Brewery, pickleball and other amenities. House developments are springing up downtown and in NewBo. The ConmnectCR project linking a revamped Cedar Lake and a new pedestrian bridge in NewBo has secured funding.
So there’s already momentum behind efforts to remake downtown’s traditional role.
The more public input our leaders receive on what residents want downtown, the more likely these plans and others will succeed. Take a few minutes to complete the survey and lend your voice to the future of downtown Cedar Rapids.
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