Business

CellSite Solutions pursues apartments at former site, makes progress on Hawkeye Downs headquarters

CellSite expects to purchase Hawkeye Downs for $2.6 million and move to a temporary facility by March, with the new headquarters built between August and July 2021, CellSite President and CEO Carter Kramer says. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
CellSite expects to purchase Hawkeye Downs for $2.6 million and move to a temporary facility by March, with the new headquarters built between August and July 2021, CellSite President and CEO Carter Kramer says. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

CellSite Solutions has the ball rolling on plans both for its new headquarters at Hawkeye Downs and its current location elsewhere in Cedar Rapids.

City council members this month could enter a development agreement with the used telecommunications equipment supplier and its real estate affiliate, CommonGround Capital, over a proposed new location at the racetrack and entertainment destination, at 4400 Sixth Street SW.

The council on Tuesday will vote on setting Dec. 17 for a public hearing to discuss CellSite’s proposed new headquarters.

Meeting documents show CellSite is considering a 55,000-square-foot building with office and warehouse space, with an estimated $7.5 million in capital investment.

The city will reimburse CellSite $463,000 of $1.2 million in expected taxes generated at the new headquarters over 10 years, as the local match for the state’s high quality jobs program.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority in October awarded the company $220,000 in tax breaks, including a five-year, 2 percent investment tax credit worth $100,000 and a refund of sales, service or use taxes paid during construction up to $120,000.

CellSite was eligible for the tax breaks due to its plans to retain 54 employees and create 16 new jobs, including 10 that meet the state’s high quality jobs wage threshold of $22.27 per hour.

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The company expects to purchase Hawkeye Downs for $2.6 million and move to a temporary facility by March, with the new headquarters built between August and July 2021, CellSite President and CEO Carter Kramer told The Gazette.

Meanwhile, changes soon could lie in store for CellSite’s current 18,000-square-foot headquarters, at 1720 I Ave. NE.

The company on Nov. 22 submitted a concept plan to Cedar Rapids’ development services staff for an approximately 41,000-square-foot mixed-use project, entailing 68 apartments and commercial space.

The ground floor of the three-story building could have at least two commercial spaces, totaling 2,440 and 2,840 square feet, with the latter having two exterior doors so it could be subdivided.

The apartments would be divided among the three floors. The typical unit is planned to be a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with a private balcony.

A 6,310-square-foot rooftop terrace will overlook the Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex, close to Mount Mercy University’s recently renovated Rinderknecht Athletic Center.

Kramer said he hopes to demolish CellSite’s old headquarters in the first quarter of 2020 before proceeding with the $8 million mixed-use building.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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