CEDAR RAPIDS – Four flood-damaged buildings promoted for historic preservation in the New Bohemia district have been condemned by the city for structural deficiencies.
The two commercial buildings and two homes in southeast Cedar Rapids will be demolished unless a plan can be presented to save them.
Flood recovery coordinator Melissa Kopf said a city building official posted the notices Sept. 17, based on structural conditions that make them unsafe.
The buildings, flooded in 2008, were showcased two days earlier during a tour of city-owned flood properties that advocates hope to save.
Jennifer Pruden, executive director of the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District, said her group and Save CR Heritage have been working together to save the properties and have interest from developers.
“Despite a very successful tour of these properties focused on increasing community awareness and developer interest, just two days later four of the properties received a “Notice and Order for Condemnation and Demolition,” Pruden wrote in an email. “The Main Street District has already lost so much of our architectural resources to demolition that it is crucial to preserve the remaining pieces.”
Both groups met with city staff Thursday.
Pruden said outcomes of that meeting included:
Joe O’Hern, formerly the city’s flood recovery director and now executive director of development services, said no deadline has been given for the proposals, but “we’re going to have to move.”
“If there are people in a position with a feasible plan and financial resources to save them, we’ll enter into discussions,” he said. “Absent that, we’ll move to demolition.”
These are the four properties condemned by the city:
- The former Globe Grocery, 131 14th Ave. SE
- Home at 213 13th Ave. SE
- The Cedar Rapids Tent & Awning building, 1207 Second St. SE
- Home at 1301 Third St. SE