The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Empty, flood-damaged Roosevelt may begin its return to life within a month

In City Hall on April 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

Renovation of The Roosevelt in downtown Cedar Rapids is readying to begin, developer Sherman Associates reports.

The former hotel turned apartment complex in the heart of downtown has been out of commission since the June 2008 flood.

Jackie Nickolaus, Sherman Associates vice president in Urbandale, Iowa, says that Sherman Associates finalized its purchase of The Roosevelt in December for $2.2 million.

She said that financing for the renovation should be in place by the end of April, and renovation of the building will begin immediately after that. Much of the funding is coming from federal affordable-housing tax credits, though the City Council also is providing some financial incentives. The council will address its loan commitment to the project at its April 22 meeting, Nickolaus says.

Sherman Associates’ renovation plan will turn some of old hotel’s small, efficiency apartments into larger ones and covert what had been commercial and office space on the second floor into apartments. The first floor will remain commercial space.

In total, the building will have 96 apartments, 90 of them designated as affordable.

Sherman Associates, headquartered in Minneapolis and a prolific developer and property manager, was the first to come to Cedar Rapids and use the term “work force housing” in place of affordable housing.

Income guidelines for affordable housing requires that someone have a job, and the guidelines are broad enough to apply to many people in the work force, Sherman Associates and the City Council now repeatedly point out.

Nickolaus says the first tenants should be back in The Roosevelt within six months of the start of construction. She adds that Sherman Associates is now negotiating with two first-floor commercial tenants.

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  1. Well Rick, I guess Sherman & Associates can afford to do this since the City gave them a HUGE chunk of money for the purchase of the builoding. Since when did the city go into the lending business and since they were able to do this for Sherman & Associates why have they not also do this for the local business, landlords, and veterans building? Let’s see who has ties to S
    herman & Associates that is in City government shall we….

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