10 Major Changes in Cedar Rapids in Just 3 Years [GALLERY]
You can't argue Cedar Rapids has been changing since the flood. What I found stunning is just how quickly things have changed in the last couple years. I found myself browsing around town on Google street view the other day, just playing around looking at some things, when I noticed something strange: there was an empty lot in the picture where now a building stands. Then I noticed in the top right corner it shows you when the picture was taken, which was 2012. So I started exploring more, and realized how quickly things have changed and evolved around here, especially in this short 2 to 3 year window. Some of these places are almost unrecognizable compared to what we see today. Just take a look.
What other big changes did we miss?
After the flood, this area was left desolate for the most part. And as we know, the city had big plans, wanting to place a casino in it's place. Out came Salem Church, Blimpies, apartments, and a bunch of other buildings, now all just vacant lots. Hard to believe it used to look like this.
Most of us agree the Hwy 100 project needed to happen, and I think all of us are ready for it to be done. Long before the headaches, the intersection was clean, and there was a great little farm stand. Remember that?
It's hard to believe the Amphitheatre hasn't always been there. It's become a spot that so many of us have grown to love. But long before the archway sculpture, flood wall, and stage appeared, it was a bunch of grass, a tree, and sidewalk that lead no where... just 3 years ago.
As Blairsferry continues to become a major retail roadway, the huge Nash Finch distribution center became a eye sore. Soon after these photos were taken, it was announced the distribution center would close and be demolished and redeveloped. Over the last year, that has happened. It's weird to see Wehrenberg from the Target parking lot now.
Westdale Mall simply became a ghost town years ago, and when it came to shopping, too many on the South West side found themselves heading up to the North East to do their shopping, as their choices were somewhat limited. That is until Kohls appeared, and now Westdale is being revitalized. But 3 years ago, it was all just a bunch of dirt in an empty lot behind Mendards.
Speaking of Westdale, we all wondered how long it was going to be vacant and look like this. It wasn't until recently change finally started to happen. We're excited to see the finished product, how ever far off that'll be. However, there's already been significant changes around that area, transforming its look.
It's almost impossible to believe just 3 years ago there was no NewBo City Market, something that has become a Cedar Rapids staple, and one of the best places to just hang out at. But sure enough, it was just an old warehouse that needed to be converted. If you carefully click on Google Street View, you can actually see 2 different phases of the construction to the site.
Another area of town that the flood just destroyed is the F Ave Bar district. It took some time for that area to get cleaned up. And now, it's almost unrecognizable compared to what it was in 2012. This view is looking out from the corner door at Cedar River Landing, upon buildings that no longer exist.
It was the renovation that took forever, but three years ago, work was in full progress. However, there was no parking garage across the street, and no skywalk yet. This view though seems way too familiar, as again the project took so long.
It was sad to see this just sitting there rotting ever since the flood, and even more sad to hear it wouldn't be coming back. Ahhhh, the memories.