Cedar Rapids Disappointment Grows As Westdale Doesn’t
The Westdale Plaza development isn't what was promised, according to many people in Cedar Rapids, and the frustration is mounting.
The deal was done in 2013, when Frew Development purchased and later tore down most of Westdale Mall. The city guaranteed an $11.5 million loan and up to $20 million in incentives for redevelopment. Grandiose plans were put in place, but aren't coming to fruition.
When Younkers went out of business, U-Haul took its place. A VA Outpatient clinic is on the way. That will help many veterans, but it's not exactly the "Utopia" that was originally presented. A mixed-use apartment building is also under construction.
Places like JCPenney, Chick Fil-A, Ross Dress For Less, Burlington, Petsmart, Sephora and a new hotel were built or remained on the Westdale land. What's there now might look good, if we hadn't been promised something better.
Increased property values and the diminishing brick-and-mortar retail business could be blamed for the lack of development, but one Cedar Rapids native doesn't see Cedar Rapids getting enough return on its investment. Jorel Robinson told KCRG,
I know things change and property value up and down but the idea and the excitement stays the same
That excitement, he said, is decreasing as time goes by.
What are your thoughts on Westdale's woes? Share with us in the comments.