Business

College Commons begins construction

Three-story apartments on First Avenue NE first new construction in College District

Renderings are shown for College Commons at the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street NE in Cedar Rapids. (H&V Development)
Renderings are shown for College Commons at the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street NE in Cedar Rapids. (H&V Development)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Construction has begun on the College Commons, a $5 million, three-story mixed use development on First Avenue that will be the first new development to begin construction in the proposed College District.

The building, located at the 1400 block of First Avenue NE, will have an H&R Block, Jimmy John’s, Scooter’s Coffee and a Clean Laundry laundromat on the first floor, and 18 apartment units split between 16 two-bed, two-bath units and two single-bedroom units.

Developer Brent Votroubek of H&V Development said the apartments will be marketed to students at Coe College and Mount Mercy University looking for more upscale residences than what those universities might offer.

Votroubeck said rent is expected around $1,395 per month for a two-bedroom unit. Construction is expected to end in time for move-in to begin in July 2019.

City officials and economic developers are in the process of endorsing a rezoning plan for the College District after a series of public workshops. That district would be bounded by First Avenue, 20th Street, Mercy Drive, Elmhurst Drive, Oakland Road and Coe Road NE.

Phil Wasta, president of the College District, said the development is a “square peg in a square hole” in terms of what kinds of development city officials want to see in that area, particularly in terms of making the most out of First Avenue’s potential tax value from its traffic.

“In the long run, it’s clearly going to increase the tax base, which is good for the city,” he said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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