A large expanse of land on the west side of the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids has sat empty for 11 years, and it's going to sit vacant quite a while longer. What will call the 8-acres at the corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street West home, an area long-expected to be home to a casino, is still unknown.

Cedar Rapids city officials have announced they told the only developer who submitted a proposal for the land, Flaherty & Collins from Indiana, that they're going to keep looking.

Flaherty and Collins had proposed a "first-class, high-density, mixed-use development," according to the Gazette. The $50 million investment would've brought at least 200 luxury housing units to the city. However, the entertainment portion of the project would come later and that's not what the city is looking for. Jennifer Pratt, the Cedar Rapids Director of Community Development, says they want something that will cause people to "get in their cars or on their bikes and come downtown." The city wants the attraction first, then the housing.

That's not to say that Flaherty & Collins won't end up developing the land. The city will welcome them to submit a new idea... and that's exactly what the city is looking for. Ideas... from its citizens.

The current plan is for an open house on November 12 from 4:30 to 6 pm at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library. A flood control open house would be held at the same time as it's believed "First and First West," as the vacant land is called, could be part of the city's flood control system.

As soon as the week before Thanksgiving the Cedar Rapids City Council could put out a new request for development proposals, with a deadline of late January or February.

The Cedar Rapids City Council would then select a proposal, which sets the wheels in motion for an agreement to be drafted and signed, property to be transferred, and eventually, the site being redeveloped.

An indoor/outdoor waterpark has been suggested in the past, an entertainment center, even a dog park. What do you think should go there?

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