NEWS

Cedar Rapids completes purchase of casino property

City had agreed to sell property to casino investors if Iowa officials issued gaming license

The site of the proposed Cedar Crossing Casino in Cedar Rapids, as seen in March 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
The site of the proposed Cedar Crossing Casino in Cedar Rapids, as seen in March 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The City Council on Tuesday finalized the purchase of land from casino investors that it had approved in July.

The council is paying $415,000 for property that the investors, Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC, bought for $2.05 million last year.

Most of the land for the proposed casino site, between A Avenue NW and Second Avenue SW and First and Third streets SW, already is owned by the city. It was purchased as part of the flood recovery buyout program.

The city had agreed to sell its property to the casino investors if they secured a state gaming license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. But the request for a license was turned down in April.

In seeking the license, the investors hustled to buy three privately held properties at the casino site to show the state commission that it was prepared to build if granted a license.

In July, the City Council voted to buy the three private properties from casino investors so it could keep the entire casino site in city control as the city continues to pursue a casino license. Having the entire site under city control also will allow the city to better market the entire site, the council said in July.

The city closed on the purchase of property at 116, 118 and 128 Second Ave. SW and 115 and 117 Second St. SW on Sept. 9, paying $249,000. The city will close Thursday on property at 201 First Ave. SW after Tuesday’s City Council approval to close on the sale. The purchase price for the First Avenue SW property is $166,000.

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