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Cedar Rapids named for construction boomtown despite COVID-19

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Cedar Rapids was named among five similar cities experiencing construction growth -- both before and after the pandemic began.

The industry journal "Construction Dive" cites Iowa's less-restrictive closings of some sectors of businesses during the pandemic and the many capital projects by local businesses as the reasons for the boom.

The city's resiliency through natural disasters like tornadoes and the 2008 flood was also cited as one of the reason construction is booming.

Ron Corbett is the Business Retention & Expansion Strategist for the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Economic Alliance. He says the city built on the momentum from the boom that preceded the Flood.

"I think that consistent growth over the years finally caught the attention of magazines like Construction Dive and others, that, 'Hey, this is a mini-mega-city that's on the move,'" Corbett said.

Corbett also says the construction boom is in spite of rising costs of construction materials.

"It may prolong some of the projects that people want to get done when their supply chain is disrupted," Corbett said, "It may take a project a year to get done vs. 9 months."

Marion is also experiencing growth, which is included in the metropolitan Cedar Rapids area.

The city was named along with Columbus, Ohio, Nashville, TN, Omaha, NE and Rochester, MN as construction boomtowns that stayed strong or bounced back after the pandemic.

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Michele White

Cedar Rapids Multimedia Journalist

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