Casey’s General Stores has proposed rebuilding a convenience store and gas station on Edgewood Road NW in Cedar Rapids and tearing down a nearby vacant church building.
A concept plan Ankeny-based Casey’s submitted March 17 to Cedar Rapids’ development services division, under review as of Thursday, depicts construction of an approximately 3,961-square-foot convenience store, with 10 gas dispensers and a 1,429-square-foot car wash, at the corner of Edgewood Road and F Avenue NW.
In its place, an existing 4,525-square-foot convenience store, with six gas dispensers and a 1,258-square-foot car wash, would be torn down.
Also slated for demolition is the nearby 9,505-square-foot former Prairie Lakes Church building, which has been vacant for nearly a year.
Prairie Lakes, which has six campuses across Iowa, in July 2017 bought the church from Edgewood Baptist Church for $277,000.
However, Prairie Lakes officials said in April 2019 that, a few weeks before, they had made the “painful, but right” choice to close that location.
The facility no longer was viable due to its physical fragility and lack of desired ministry growth, the officials said at the time.
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Casey’s spokeswoman Katie Petru said in an email that the chain still is in the early stages of the Edgewood store project.
“We are looking to purchase additional ground so we can build a new, larger store as we have a high traffic and demand at this location,” she said.
Chris Rygh, Prairie Lakes’ executive pastor of expansion, said church officials have considered a number of possibilities for their former Cedar Rapids site since closing the building in 2019, including the Casey’s project.
“Before a conversation can move forward, it’s necessary to get clarity from the city about next steps,” said Rygh, who declined to comment on a possible purchase agreement with Casey’s.
Prairie Lakes officials in April 2019 said any proceeds from selling the former church first would go toward an existing $230,000 mortgage on the building, with any leftover money placed in the church’s facility reserve fund for future campuses across Iowa.
Casey’s also submitted to Cedar Rapids a request to rezone the 4.12-acre project site from a suburban residential low single unit district to a traditional mixed-use center district.
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