In the midst of development — the Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa medical pavilion, the proposed extension of Highway 100, and the undetermined fate of the green space currently defining the Time Check neighborhood — we, the Cedar Rapids community, need to pause, reflect, and evaluate our progress.
The devastating flood of 2008 presented us with the opportunity to not only rebuild but to revitalize our community. In the subsequent years we have watched the rehabilitation of the Paramount Theatre, the construction of a new public library, and the opening of the NewBo City Market. These are testaments to the area’s evolution into an attractive, vital and prosperous place to live; however, new does not always mean improved and what is regarded as progress today may be viewed with regret tomorrow.
In the 1960s, with funding provided by the urban renewal components of the Johnson Administration’s Great Society Legislation, Cedar Rapidian developers leveled the unique river walk structures of First Street SE without foresight or definite redevelopment intentions. With flood recovery money being offered by the state and federal government, it concerns me that our city may, once again, embark down the same erroneous path.
Let’s ensure that the floods destruction ended when the waters subsided in June of 2008. As we are presented with recovery/redevelopment opportunities, it is imperative that we pursue the projects that will enhance our present and future community.