It's been a long time coming but another new housing development is finally coming to Cedar Rapids, five years after it was first introduced.

Back in 2016, Hatch Development proposed a two-building housing project called ArtTech Village II. Now, as 2021 nears its end, Watts Group of Coralville is taking over the development, with a very similar plan to the original.

Watts Group calls the project NewBo Lofts (artist renderings below), and it will be built at 455 16th Ave. SE in the NewBo neighborhood of Cedar Rapids. The Corridor Business Journal says Watts Group will make "a minimum $20 million investment in two 55-unit multi-family buildings, including 80 one-bedroom market-rate units, 20 two-bedroom market-rate units, and ten one-bedroom affordable “entrepreneurial” units."

The city has agreed to extend Fourth Street SE for access to the new development, which will also include a public recreation trail.

In the Cedar Rapids City Council meeting earlier this week a term sheet was assigned to the project. That would provide 100 percent Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reimbursement for the next 20 years. Based on today's estimates, that's approximately $2.85 million. Corridor Business Journal says the total could be lower if Watts Group receives either Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credits or Workforce Housing Tax Credits.

Ben Weber of Watts Group told Corridor Business Journal taking over the project was an easy decision:

We like what’s going on in the NewBo district. This will be a good project that’s going to fit the neighborhood well, and we’re pretty excited to bring our flavor of architecture and expertise in multifamily development and property management to the area.

Construction for NewBo Lofts is tentatively scheduled to begin either in the spring or early summer of 2022. Work should be finished in the summer of 2024.

Watts Group is also planning another development near the Brucemore Mansion in the 1900 block of First Avenue in Cedar Rapids. That project, called Douglas on First, also has a price tag of more than $20 million. Work on the planned 48-unit complex is expected to begin in March of 2022, with completion slated for November of 2024. You can see more on Douglas on First here.

Last Wednesday, December 15, groundbreaking took place on Annex on the Square, a housing development in downtown Cedar Rapids, across 5th Street from the Cedar Rapids Public Library. In just over a week, all the buildings on the property have been demolished in preparation for the construction of a total of 224 housing units. Work is expected to be completed in January of 2024.

More on Annex on the Square is available here with renderings of the project at the bottom of this story, below the renderings of the NewBo Lofts project.

NewBo Lofts Development

A pair of buildings will be constructed at 455 16th Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. They will comprise a total of 110 multi-family units. Tentative construction plans call for work to begin in spring or early summer 2022 and to be complete and ready for occupancy in the summer of 2024.

Annex on the Square

What's long been known as the Banjo Block in downtown Cedar Rapids is being demolished in favor of a mixed-use property. The $49 million development will cover the entire block across from the Cedar Rapids Public Library at the corner of 4th Avenue and 5th Street SE.

Cedar Rapids Condo With Amazing View is For Sale

This Cedar Rapids condo lets you live on the skyline, with all of the 5th floor and a 6th floor mezzanine. It's located in The Depot at 420 12th Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids. The unit is suite 500.

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