Renovation of Smulekoff's warehouse gets historic tax credits

The former warehouse is slated to be turned into office space

The former Smulekoff’s warehouse in Cedar Rapids, 411 Sixth Ave. SE, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Matthew Patane/The Gazette)
The former Smulekoff’s warehouse in Cedar Rapids, 411 Sixth Ave. SE, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Matthew Patane/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The redevelopment of the former Smulekoff’s warehouse will have access to millions of dollars in historic tax credits.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced Thursday it had awarded SLE Investments — a company run by Cedar Rapids developer Steve Emerson — about $3.6 million in historic preservation tax credits.

The award is intended for the redevelopment of the Harper and McIntire Co. Warehouse — also known as the Smulekoff’s warehouse — at 411 Sixth Ave. SE, into commercial office space.

Emerson said Thursday the 60,000-square-foot space will be a multi-office building, with a gym potentially occupying space on the first floor and a shared conference room with a patio on the top floor.

Parking would be located in the building’s basement, he said.

“It’s about half-leased up. We’re just gearing up to kick off the project,” Emerson said.

He expects the first tenants to move in to the building in about nine months.

The Smulekoff’s building also has a tower structure that emerges from its roof, which Emerson said used to be an old, wooden water tower. Due to its layout, Emerson said the tower could not be repurposed into usable space and still meet building codes.

Last year, the Economic Development Authority awarded SLE Investments $500,000 in redevelopment tax credits for the same project.


The authority also awarded the not-for-profit Matthew 25 with $332,598 in tax credits for its renovation of the former Kingston building, 201 Third Ave. SW. The neighborhood revitalization organization is using part of the building for its headquarters and turning the rest into a mixed-use space.

This year’s awards came from the Historic Preservation Tax Credits program, which provides state incomes tax credits to projects that rehabilitate historic buildings. The authority also provided another $15.3 million in the tax credits to nine other projects across the state.

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