Let's just be honest. A certain part of 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids has been a little "rough around the edges" for years. Developers and city leaders continue working to change that. The remodeling of the Hy-Vee on the Avenue nearly 20 years ago was the first step. City councilman Dale Todd told the Gazette:

When we rebuilt the Hy-Vee store in 2001, our goal then was to stabilize the area between Hy-Vee and Coe. It simply never happened.

Wendy's followed suit. There's also now a new building featuring a Scooter's Coffee Shop and Jimmy John's, and more building going on.

Apparently, McDonald's is next. Fights, violence, and loitering have been as prevalent as Big Macs at the 1530 1st Ave. location, but city leaders say a new owner has arrived in hopes of turning things around.

McDonald's franchisee Kevin O'Brien has purchased several locations in the corridor and knew coming in he had his work cut out for him. With his investment and commitment backed by the power of the McDonald's name, he says we'll see significant improvements at the First Avenue location within 90 days.

A sign outside says "new owner, new benefits, new attitude". I hope exciting things are coming for a stretch of town that really needs them.

[Via Gazette]