No 'Storage Wars' auction for GO Cedar Rapids

Defunct organization's overdue storage space bill paid

The former offices of GO Cedar Rapids sit empty Thursday in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
The former offices of GO Cedar Rapids sit empty Thursday in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The contents of two storage units rented by GO Cedar Rapids from Southgate Self Storage was expected to be auctioned off at 10 a.m. Thursday under the Iowa Self-Storage Facility Lien Act, but the debt was paid before the auction took place.

Staff at Southgate Self Storage, 3350 Southgate Court SW, said only the bill was paid and the auction was not going to take place. It is not clear who paid it and how much it was.

The tourism marketing agency was storing pallets of magazines and slat boards in one unit and shelving, boxes, desk, Christmas trees, tables, a file cabinet, cooler, partitions, and miscellaneous items in the other unit, according to a legal notice.

GO Cedar Rapids folded Oct. 15 after losing $2.3 million on “newbo evolve,” a summer festival, with organization leaders saying they had no assets or reserves. The 18-member board of directors has not yet dissolved. A message seeking comment to John Myers, board chairman, was not returned.

The organization owed $800,000 to an untold number of local and non-local vendors, $1.5 million to Bankers Trust, and $500,000 to the city of Cedar Rapids. The city repaid itself with hotel-motel tax revenue that would otherwise have gone to GO Cedar Rapids.

The city, which was the primary funder of GO Cedar Rapids, started a new Cedar Rapids Tourism Office under VenuWorks, a contractor that books events for the city’s performance spaces. The office is housed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, which also is owned by the city.

Neither the city nor the Tourism Office paid for the storage unit, said Maria Johnson, a spokeswoman for the city.

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