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Vibrancy and optimism in Cedar Rapids neighborhoods

July 5, 2016

Vibrancy and optimism in Cedar Rapids neighborhoods

The Gazette recently described this scene on a Thursday evening in Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia (NewBo) neighborhood:

More than 600 people gathered on the NewBo City Market lawn to participate in yoga, dance fitness or join walking, running or biking groups at the free weekly Meet Me At the Market event. Across the street, the Skeeter Lewis Trio entertained diners inside Parlor City, while the restaurant’s outdoor patio and the nearby NewBo Alehouse patio were packed with people enjoying libations, food and the weather.

In June 2008, this neighborhood was completely underwater because of a flood, which devastated the region. Since that time, Cedar Rapids formally adopted a flood control plan. Visitors to NewBo can still see what was lost, but what’s more apparent is the sense of excitement and hope for the future.

Both NewBo and its sister neighborhood on the west side of the Cedar River, the Czech Village, have become home to new breweries, bars, bike lanes, an indoor farmer’s market, restaurants, local shops, artist studios, apartments and all the other hallmarks of thriving, walkable urban neighborhoods. A coworking space, NewBoCo, which is home to a startup accelerator, also recently became the 2017 host of EntreFEST, the largest entrepreneurship conference in Iowa.

The post-flood development in Cedar Rapids is not limited to NewBo or the Czech Village – see the recent news about the city’s downtown. Overall, this post-flood recovery is a testament to the resiliency of the city’s residents and leaders, to the state of Iowa, which has approved $264 million to fund new flood controls in the city, and to the forward-thinking business owners who help create neighborhoods that will attract and retain talented workers.

Cedar Rapids is a place where new things are being done, new businesses are growing and everything feels possible. For more information about doing business in Cedar Rapids and the state of Iowa, contact IEDA at



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