Transportation facility nears start
Work on long-delayed structure expected to begin before winter
By Rick Smith The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS Ã¢â‚¬â€ Downtown Cedar Rapids might see a construction crane yet this year.
City officials on Tuesday said they expect work on a long-delayed, $12.7 million Intermodal Transportation Facility at 601 Second St. SE to start before winter.
The seven-story structure Ã¢â‚¬â€ five levels of parking for 600 parkers and two levels of office space, which will face Second Street SE from Sixth to Seventh avenues SE Ã¢â‚¬â€ should be ready for business in 2008, officials told the City Council at a luncheon workshop at City Hall.
Dwight Dohlman, the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s facilities construction manager, estimated the project would create 200 construction jobs.
The facility will provide space for a day-care center for the Arc of East Central Iowa, and office space for the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s transit department and the Neighborhood Transit Service. The facility will be built so it can accommodate three additional stories for commercial or parking use if the demand exists.
The city secured $9.05 million in federal funds for the facility several years ago, but the project has languished, with some partners, including the Witwer Senior Center, pulling out of the plans.
The city had intended to build the facility across First Avenue from the U.S. Cellular Center, but employment and parking needs changed downtown and the City Council decided to move the location, Bill Hoekstra, the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s transit/parking chief, said Tuesday.
Changing the location and losing some of the initial tenants delayed the project. The city had to rework its proposal and win approval from the federal government, Hoekstra and Dohlman said.
Dohlman said a city committee now has selected a design team headed by Shive-Hattery Inc. of Cedar Rapids for the project. Construction will start once the City Council and the Federal Transit Administration approve the Shive-Hattery contract and the design proceeds.
In addition to the $9.05 million in federal funds for the project, the city also will use $3.695 million in city bonds to pay the upfront costs.
The land for the facility was purchased for $570,000 from 2001 Development Corp., a group of downtown employers and property owners who have purchased downtown land over the last decade with the intent of marketing it for redevelopment.
Engineering and architectural work is expected to cost $1.1 million and construction $10.04 million with an additional $1 million for contingency spending.
Commitments already have been signed for parking spaces for about 550 monthly parkers. Of those, some now are parking in surface lots at the site; some are Alliant Energy employees now parking in the First Street Parkade; and some are employees working in the Great America Building, officials said.
A plan under consideration by the city is to demolish the First Street Parkade and build a new parkade away from the riverfront, Hoekstra said.
very rough design drawing of the facility...
that dark cube is the great furniture mart ...which i believe is being closed and will be turned into lofts. behind the site is the cedar rapids library.
Gazette map of the location.
except for the 7 stories i must say i'm not too impressed with this drawing. obviously its preliminary but i'm worried it won't turn out with the greatest design - especially considering 5 out of 7 levels are parking. Cedar Rapids doesn't seem to be quite as far as Des Moines as far as civic and public demand for quality design and/or cover up of parking structures. This site is also next to 2 huge city parkades adjacent to eachother which is also next to the town center parkade. I really hope the diagonal parking decks aren't too exposed and the long end fronting 1st Street.