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Cedar Rapids City Council approves 1st and 1st project terms

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1st and 1st
Courtesy: City of Cedar Rapids
big grove brewery
Courtesy: City of Cedar Rapids
condos at 1st and 1st
Courtesy: City of Cedar Rapids
outdoor space
Courtesy: City of Cedar Rapids
fun center
Courtesy: City of Cedar Rapids
Joe Ahman, President of Ahman Companies of Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- The 1st and 1st project is one of 3 transformative projects that make up the city's larger Reinvestment District project. The Cedar Rapids City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to approve the initial terms of the project.

Three developers collaborated to work on the project that is expected to cost between $70 and $90 million and will transform the vacant lot between 1st Avenue and 1st Street that was once earmarked for a casino.

The development team presented their designs for a family fun center, Big Grove Brewery, housing, outdoor spaces and a Pickle Palace -- which would include rooftop courts and a bar and grill, among other amenities.

Nate Kaeding is the development director, Build to Suit, Inc., and one of the developers working on the project.

"I think we brought some good ideas in terms of where we think the market fit is. Of course, through COVID and through the derecho and a variety of other things, the plan has sort of changed but I think that's all part of the process and that's for the better because of it and we're excited to get the council's support and we're even more excited to get going on it," Kaeding said.

Joe Ahman, president of Ahman Companies, is the developer working on the Pickle Palace, which is Phase I of the project. He says he is ready to break ground with that project.

"We also have to look at how fast the market can absorb the project, too. But, there's nothing better than having a project hit the ground running and seeing a lot of activity very quicly and this will help us do that," Ahman said.

The project would also re-route 1st Street -- elevating it slightly -- to include the city's flood control system.

Several of the City Council members expressed excitement about the project marking a gateway to the city and attracting visitors.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved $9 million in provisional funding for the city's entire Reinvestment District project, which is expected to cost $263 million.

Build to Suit, Ahman Companies and Big Grove Brewery are the developers working on this project, under the 1st and 1st L.L.C.

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Michele White

Cedar Rapids Multimedia Journalist

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