Put on your walking shoes -- or bike helmets.
On Saturday morning, Cedar Rapids officials plan to show off the new flood-recovery housing now in place in the city’s flood-hit core neighborhoods.
Then Saturday afternoon, Save Cedar Rapids Heritage and the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District want to showcase flood-damaged historic buildings that have been renovated since the flood of 2008 and 12 others in New Bohemia and across the Cedar River from downtown in an area about to get a new name, perhaps Kingston Village or West Village.
City Hall’s self-guided Housing Redevelopment Tour will begin at 10 a.m. at a new apartment complex, the Villages at 12 and 6, at 1113 Sixth St. SE, with opening remarks from Mayor Ron Corbett.
The tour also will feature the Oak Hill Jackson Brickstones across the street from the Villages and new single-family homes built in the Oak Hill, Harrison Elementary School, Taylor Elementary School and Czech Village neighborhoods with attractive government incentives to make home purchases attainable for those who otherwise might not be able to qualify for a mortgage.
City staff members will be on hand to explain the incentive programs and the requirements to qualify.
The self-guided tour of historic buildings will run from 1 to 3 p.m. for walkers as well as bikers and motorists.
Beth DeBoom, president of Save Cedar Rapids Heritage, says the historic tour will explain how the 12 unoccupied, flood-damaged properties might be attractive redevelopment opportunities for the right people. Those who take on the projects may have access to historic tax credits to help with the cost of renovation, she notes.
"We’d like to save the few historic properties that remain, and get a sense of whether there’s an interest in taking on some hard-core renovation projects for a rock-bottom price," says DeBoom. "These are properties that will require some vision, business savvy and hard work."
One property not on the list of historic properties is the Louis Sullivan-designed bank at 101 Third Ave. SW.
Just last week, developer Fred Timko announced that he and a group of partners were acquiring the former bank and the bank office building attached to it with plans to redevelop them. Timko said the group also plans to build a new multistory residential building on First Street SW next to the Sullivan bank that will hold 15 to 20 condominium units.
The 12 historic buildings on Saturday’s walking tour are at: 131 14th Ave. SE; 1207 Second St. SE; 1216 Second St. SE; 1018 Second St. SE; 1301 Third St. SE; 213 13th Ave. SE; 426 First St. SW; 207 Third Ave. SW; 120 Third Ave. SW; 102 Third Ave. SW; 121 Third St. SW; and 222 Third Ave. SW.
View a map of the buildings below: