Part of it is serving as a rather handy parking lot for workers and visitors downtown, but an area near the Paramount Theatre could soon become the city's next high-rise.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette says that a lot at 320/330 1st St. SE has been listed by Gibbs Lamb and Drown (GLD) commercial for $2.5 million. At one time, a proposal for the land saw plans for a 28-story high rise that would have been the tallest in the downtown area. The plans for a ground level, full-service Brothers Market grocery store, a 17th-floor restaurant with patio, 100 to 120 condominiums, 21 apartments, office space, about 700 parking spaces, rooftop gardens, electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage, solar panels, and a mini dog park on the upper levels were apparently scrapped when the original developer Jesse Allen couldn't secure the financing.

Neumann Monson Architects
Neumann Monson Architects

Adam Gibbs of GLD commercial notes having a database of prospective developers that would be a good fit, but the listing is still open for prospective buyers. The city assessor values the property well below the listing price of $637,600.

Gibbs states that his group's higher valuation is based on the "opportunity it presents", as well as the "clean slate" it offers compared to other development opportunities downtown, including the historic Guaranty Bank building that just went back on the market after several years of hotel, restaurant, and convention center redevelopment discussion fell through.

In Gibbs's opinion, the best use of the First Street land might be a mixed-use development including office space, residential, hotel, or any combination thereof. Gibbs says that with its proximity and walking distance to the Paramount Theater, Theater Cedar Rapids, Alliant Energy Powerhouse, McGrath Amphitheatre, and the downtown restaurant district and other attractions, it checks off all the boxes for prospective developers but no new offers have yet been made.

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