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Work to resume after Marion building roof collapses

12th Street should reopen late Friday

No one was injured Wednesday when the second level of this building collapsed into the first level in Marion. The building on Seventh Avenue is to house Riley’s Cafe. After the site is cleaned up, construction will resume, the developer told the Marion City Council on Thursday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
No one was injured Wednesday when the second level of this building collapsed into the first level in Marion. The building on Seventh Avenue is to house Riley’s Cafe. After the site is cleaned up, construction will resume, the developer told the Marion City Council on Thursday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

MARION — A building under construction in Marion collapsed Wednesday afternoon, with two-thirds of the project experiencing substantial damage due to a structural deficiency in the center of the building.

The roof of the future site of Riley’s Cafe on Seventh Ave, a diner-style restaurant with two locations in Cedar Rapids, collapsed Wednesday but the exact cause isn’t yet known.

Project Spokesman Steve Stefani, with Capital Commercial Division LLC, told City Council members Thursday the second level of the building collapsed onto the first level, and will set the project back a bit.

“We’re grateful there were no injuries,” Stefani said. “Workers exited the building a few minutes prior for a break.”

The project will move forward, he said, but its structural plan will be amended to prevent similar circumstances from occurring.

Portions of 12th street between 7th and 8th avenue are closed during the cleanup process but Stefani estimates it will open by the end of the day Friday.

City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said the City Council awarded the project a development agreement, a combination of grant and rebates of future taxes in an amount up to $650,000, but that it had expired. The city had awarded no money to the project yet. Pluckhahn said the city was in the process of developing a new agreement with the project developers when the collapse occurred. This agreement would be in the form of a direct loan that the developer would pay back, along with future tax rebates, Pluckhahn said, at the same total of $650,000. He said he will wait to hear about what the next step is with the project before deciding whether to award a second development agreement.

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