Several vacant lots and abandoned buildings soon will be rejuvenated.
On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority approved more than $2.68 million in redevelopment tax credits for five Cedar Rapids projects, including the future home of Geonetric, the former A&P supermarket building and Mount Mercy University’s future athletics complex.
The Brownfield and Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit program provides tax incentives to promote expansion or redevelopment at abandoned or underused industrial or commercial properties with real or perceived environmental contamination as well as to developed properties with outdated infrastructure in place.
Agile Ventures LLC received an $1 million in tax credits to redevelop a former manufacturing site at 415 12th Ave. SE into Geonetric Inc.’s new three-story headquarters. The health company anticipates being done with the $5.7 million building in May 2014.
Ben Dillon, co-owner at Geonetric, said while the company is excited to build its headquarters in the emerging NewBo District, it has proved a bit challenging. The ground can’t support a parking lot and, due to its proximity to the Cedar River, the company is raising the building site five feet above the 100-year flood plain.
The awarded tax credits will help offset those costs, he said.
“The (tax credits) weren’t the reason we looked at NewBo,” Dillon said. “We liked the vibrant energy, and we hope our site encourages more development.”
Another $1 million in tax credits were awarded to Mount Mercy University to redevelop the former Terex property, 902 17th St. NE, into a $12.7 million athletic complex, including baseball and softball fields, a track around a regulation soccer field, tennis and basketball courts, and a large multi-purpose field.
Terex, formerly Iowa Manufacturing, closed the factory in 2010. The company produced rock crushing and paving equipment.
Dusty Road LLC, which is redeveloping property in the Czech Village into a brew pub, received $352,860. The project will turn a 7,000-square-foot former retail store at 59 16th Ave. SW that was built in 1938 into Lion Bridge Brewing Co.
OPC Allan Investments LLC received tax credits for two projects. One was for redeveloping Firestation No. 2 into micro-rental spaces for one- and two-person organizations. IEDA awarded OPC Allan $83,211 for the fire station, which has been vacant since the 2008 Floods.
Another $246,949 in tax credits was awarded for renovations at the former A&P Supermarket, 222 Third Ave. SW, which will be turned into the warehouse for Kieck’s Career Apparel and office space for Allan Custom Homes and Allan Development Co., said Paul Brundell, principal with OPC Allan Investments.
Renovations to the Kingston Village site will include removal of a drain pit, installation of a rubber membrane below the entire floor to isolate outgases, structural repairs, new water and sewer services, construction of offices, restrooms, a shared conference room, a solar PV system, parking lot charging stations, and installation of portable walls, a new floor and other work to match the historical standards.
Kingston Village was created and named a viable business district in June. The district is bounded by the Cedar River on the east, Interstate 380 and First Avenue West on the north, Sixth Street on the west and Eighth Avenue SW to the south.
Brundell plans to complete renovations in the A&P building by June 30, 2014, and said the fire station does not have a set timeline as he is still looking for possible tenants.
“We’re excited to work to bring these back online as productive assets to the community,” he said.