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Cedar Rapids Area Projects Awarded Nearly One-third of $10M Brownfield/Grayfield Funding

November 18, 2020 | Economic Development

In the last 5 years, we have seen 26 projects totaling $15,069,231 in awards.
2016 – 4 projects, $2,653,000, 26.5% of total funding
2017 – 7 projects, $3,556,205, 35.6% of total funding
2018 – 5 projects, $3,360,000, 33.6% of total funding
2019 – 4 projects, $2,700,000, 27.0% of total funding
2020 – 6 projects, $2,800,000, 28.0% of total funding
Read more about previous years’ projects at

The Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credits Program, awarded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, offers sites the ability to transform into a new or repurposed space to revitalize an area, generate revenue and/or attract new visitors. Brownfield sites are abandoned, idled or underutilized industrial or commercial properties where real or perceived environmental contamination prevents productive expansion or redevelopment. Grayfield sites are abandoned public buildings, industrial or commercial properties that are vacant, blighted, obsolete or otherwise underutilized.

Six projects in Cedar Rapids and Vinton were awarded $2.8M in tax credits and recently received final approval by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board. This tax credit program is capped at $10M per fiscal year with a maximum award of $1M per project and is offered as a way to promote economic health of communities by reducing environmental hazards, cleaning up eyesores, creating jobs and boosting tax revenue.

Brewpub at former Iowa Braille School Hospital – 1001 G Avenue, Vinton – Awarded: $200,000

The $1.3M project will redevelop a former hospital building built in 1905 into a Brewpub. This is the first part of the total $20M project by Hobart Historic Restoration that will develop the entire former Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School campus in Vinton. The school was founded in 1852, but closed in 2011 after enrollment declined. The 3,200 square foot brewpub will have indoor and outdoor seating and offer locally brewed beers and smaller menu items.

The Ellis Group – 615 K Avenue NW – Awarded: $50,000

This project will be a restaurant in the Time Check neighborhood of Cedar Rapids.

OFB LLC – 1001 5th Street SE – Awarded: $100,000

This project will be a 4-unit modern row home building on triangle parcel along railroad tracks behind NewBo City Market.

The Hub, LLC – 916 16th Street NE – Awarded: $1,000,000

The proposed project will consist of demolition of the existing buildings, except for an approximate 36,000 square feet building that once served as the crane facility. The portion of the building that remains will be remodeled and renovated in to 30 loft style dwelling units and first floor indoor parking spaces. There will be two new multi-family buildings constructed that are each 5 stories with ground level parking, with 100,000 square feet and 54 dwelling units and 66,000 square feet and 48 dwelling units.

TWG Development – 4th Avenue & 5th Street SE – Awarded: $900,000

This $51M project will redevelop the Banjo Block, 500 block of Fourth Avenue SE, in downtown Cedar Rapids to a five-story, 244 market-rate, one-and-two-bedroom apartments. 186 parking stalls with additional amenities including a swimming pool, fitness center, bike storage, community room and a roof deck are planned.

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter – 707 B Avenue NW – Awarded: $550,000

This $2.5M project will redevelop the former Chandler Pump warehouse located in Cedar Rapids. This multi-use project will provide employment services on the main level and supportive housing (14 units) for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness on the second level.

The projects submitted in the Cedar Rapids area this year, and in the past 5 years, have been very successful under the Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit Program, receiving approximately one-third of the $10M fund. With these awards announced, the amount offers a consistent accomplishment to the Cedar Rapids area. The quality and need of the development submissions from our community consistently meet the qualifications of the tax credit.

Many of the development projects would not have been possible if not for this assistance. Some of the most iconic and popular locations in our community were, or are, recipients of the tax credit such as: The National where Brewhemia and Caucho are located, The Depot in NewBo, Smulekoff’s Warehouse, Marion Iron, Amana Society’s newly opened Amana Woolen Mill Hotel and so many more!

The Economic Alliance consistently advocates for the funding for Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit program, and other key economic development incentives that demonstrate a positive return on investment particularly those that further workforce and development efforts. We appreciate the strong support from our Linn County delegation in this work as well. To read more about successful economic development projects and tax credit programs, visit