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Housing project receives $1.5 million grant from the state



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – The state of Iowa has given $1.5 million in redevelopment tax credits for its Brownfield and Grayfield properties, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The top floors of the Iowa Building, located at 4th Avenue and 3rd Street SE, would be transformed to downtown housing units, according to a plan by developer Steve Emerson. The Iowa Building is a Grayfield property that is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Grayfield sites are vacant, blighted, obsolete, or otherwise underused properties that have some infrastructure in place. The state will fund the project with $750,000 in redevelopment tax credits.

Emerson will also get $750,000 in tax credits to transform the old Skogman Realty headquarters property at 411 1st Avenue SE into the Palmer Building housing complex in downtown Grayfield. Both projects will provide 84 housing units to Cedar Rapids’ downtown area.

“These projects represent a significant investment in our vibrant downtown community. The tax incentives from the State will lead to $21 million in construction and development for the city, not to mention increase housing, which is sorely needed in our downtown area,” executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Doug Neumann said.

The Webb Acres Gala Barn project, which is located on the grounds of the former Iowa Braille School in Vinton, was also given $75,000 by the state.

“We are grateful that the state chose the Palmer and Iowa buildings for the Brownfield/Grayfield program. Revitalizing and repurposing buildings is a costly endeavor and would not be possible without help from state programs like these to fill construction cost gaps. We are excited and hopeful that our projects will increase the foot traffic in downtown Cedar Rapids and help our downtown businesses thrive,” Emerson said.

The state granted a total of $15 million in tax credit money across the state.

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