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

City Hall moving ahead with idea to buy Pepsi’s two and half blocks just off downtown for a new Intermodal Transit Facility

In City Hall on July 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm

City Hall is moving ahead with a plan to buy two-and-a-half blocks of property just off the downtown owned by Pepsi Americas Inc., according to a City Hall report to city employees.

The city plans to put its new bus depot, called the Intermodal Transit Facility, on part of the site.

Pepsi operates a warehouse and maintenance operation on the property and has its office there at 400 Sixth Ave. SE.

In early March, the City Council selected the Pepsi Americas Inc. property as the preferred site with the new transit facility.

City staff and Pepsi have been talking since, and Pepsi now is meeting with local contractors to determine the cost to relocate to a new facility. The city is expected an update from Pepsi this month.

The city’s plan is to buy the entire two-and-half blocks and then to sell what it doesn’t need for the Intermodal Transit Facility.

In part, the city picked the Pepsi site with the idea that the Pepsi operation is something of an industrial operation not necessarily suited for a spot close to the downtown.

The city has been trying for years to build the transit facility, and has had $9 million in federal funds in place for the project since 2002.

Initially, the new depot was slated to go up across First Avenue East from the U.S. Cellular Center. Next, the city moved the site to Second Street SE. The current council said the Second Street SE site didn’t make sense because it was so close to the Ground Transportation Center bus depot. The council then decided to close the GTC depot and move its function into the new Intermodal facility at Sixth Street SE and Ninth Avenue SE. That site flooded, though, and the Federal Transit Administration said the city can’t build there. That led the council to the Pepsi site.

In the meantime, the council also has to decide what to do with the GTC depot site, which also flooded in June 2008.

For now, the bus terminal is operating out of temporary buildings in the city’s Park and Ride lot along Second Street SE.

  1. “Intermodal” means “between modes”. Modes of transit include, generally, bus, train, and cars.

    What exactly is supposed to be “intermodal” about the new “Intermodal Transit Facility”? Are they planning on adding a transit train line? Or is this just an opportunity to use a fancy new “green” buzzword to get federal grant money and placate and confuse taxpayers?

  2. Brave Polish,
    City bus, Trailways bus, Neighborhood Transit System vans, cars and trucks, I guess, bicycles, and, hopefully, trains some day. — Rick

  3. This is a good site – close to downtown but not in the middle creating pedestrian unfriendly blocks like at the former GTC – and right next to CRANDIC trains for potential future rail transit.

  4. Brady the point is that this type of expense is unrealistic right now for CR. Guess who foots the bill when they don’t get the $$$ they need- yep, you and I. The city need to reel itself in and stop the hemorage of $$$ going out. Rightsize these projects.

  5. As the article states, there is already $9 million in place in federal funds for the project. This has been long planned, so its not something they just came up with on a whim. What kind of project / expense do you think is appropriate for the City? (something besides the generic, ill-conceived “help the flood victims” argument – there are a multitude of different needs in this city that are of equal importance)

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