Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Holds Competition for Downtown Commercial Space

The application portal opened on Wednesday and any company can apply

The Gazette Downtown Cedar Rapids as seen from the Alliant Energy Tower in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. A section of downtown Cedar Rapids may soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

A “space race” takes place in Cedar Rapids, but instead of leaving this planet, the winner can move their local business to downtown Cedar Rapids.

The program, a partnership between the Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District and Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, will award the winning business $20,000 to “rent and build” in a selected property in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The application portal opened on Wednesday and closes on June 30. Applicants can go to raceforthespacecr.org and click “Apply Now”.

In addition to the $20,000, the selected company will also receive a credit of $7,500 for architectural design services and assistance with Form Function Studio as well as a free eight-week owner training course provided by BerganKDV.

“It’s been a tough two years with the pandemic and the derecho, but downtown Cedar Rapids has had incredible momentum,” Downtown executive director Jesse Thoeming said in a news release. “With new housing opportunities, the expansion of major employers, thriving cultural amenities and growing attendance at downtown events, now seems the time to keep that momentum going by looking for the next exciting and must-see downtown hotspot. -city in the district.”

The competition rules state that any type of business can apply, including businesses looking for a second location. Program finalists will pitch their business at an event inspired by the “Shark Tank” TV show. A winner will be announced in August. The winner will be able to move into the space in the fall.

“In a world that increasingly shifts to online interactions, we’re looking for someone with a big idea who will draw people to downtown Cedar Rapids, resulting in increased foot traffic for businesses. buildings and our cultural attractions,” said Thoeming.

For more information, contact Thoeming at [email protected] or Director of Communications Nikki Wilcox at [email protected]

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