Cedar Rapids Shows Resilience, Growth in Times of Crisis

By Scott Olson, Skogman Commercial Since starting a series of annual articles on Cedar Rapids in 2013 after the recovery from the historic floods of 2008 and 2016, I never anticipated the city would be facing an event in 2020 that would reach beyond those levels of flood impact. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has given our city new challenges for this year and beyond. Hopefully this is a once-in-a-lifetime health event that, unlike the floods, has impacted nearly every city in the country in many …

Downtown Sioux City Experiencing Explosive Growth, Transformation

By Marty Dougherty, City of Sioux City Downtown Sioux City, Iowa is currently experiencing growth and transformation on an unprecedented scale. This emerging and vibrant place is not only celebrating its rich and colorful history with multiple historic property renovations, but has made strides to re-invent itself and take the downtown to new levels. These efforts include the growth of new residential options, an increasing number of cultural attractions and quality-of-life amenities, new …

Flood of Development Activity Continues in Cedar Rapids

As I have enjoyed writing in six previous August articles since 2013, we have seen Cedar Rapids, the 2014 “All-America City,” go from flood recovery in 2008 and 2016 to record levels of development. The city set a record for building permits in fiscal year 2018 of $375 million, which was $133 million over the previous year and $29 million more than the 2012 record by $29 million. Activity in fiscal year 2019 is estimated to be a very impressive $320 million. Flood protection system reached …

Office Amenities Drive Tenant Decisions in Des Moines Market

In the last few years, the greater Des Moines metro area has been a title holder, reigning as a “Top Place to Live,” “Top City for Young Professionals” and even “Best Place to Retire.” Meanwhile the economy, business environment and commercial real estate sector hold titles like steady, stable and reliable.  However, over the past 24 months, the commercial office market could add thriving, prosperous and robust to that list of adjectives. As office lease rates continue to rise 1.5 …

Development Activity in Cedar Rapids Abounds Across Property Sectors

In a series of citywide events on June 13, the city of Cedar Rapids celebrated the recovery efforts from the historic flood of 2008 that crested that day 10 years ago. The events also remembered those that lost so much in the residential and business community. Many are still impacted by this natural disaster. As I have previously noted in past articles, the city’s recovery efforts have been nationally recognized, including:• All-America City Award in 2014 from the National Civic …

Outlets of Des Moines Fills a Retail Void in the Metro Area

Outlets of Des Moines brings some of the best brand names in retail to the Des Moines metropolitan area, one of the strongest economies in the country. Retailers include such favorites as American Eagle, Asics, Bath & Body Works, Brooks Brothers, Converse, Express Factory Outlet, francesca’s, Le Creuset, Levi’s, LOFT Outlet, Lucky Brand Jeans, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Bradley and Under Armour. [caption id="attachment_204673" align="alignright" …

Des Moines Industrial Sector Can Compete With Other Tech-Centric Markets

When hearing the names Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, one’s mind might automatically shift to the Silicon Valley: the West Coast mecca of technology and computing. But you can find those same companies in the corn and soybean fields of Iowa. The state has become synonymous with state-of-the-art data centers for these familiar technology companies and others. [caption id="attachment_204667" align="alignright" width="100"] Chris Pendroy, CBRE|Hubbell Commercial[/caption]When I …

Increased Development Activity in Cedar Rapids Flows Across Property Types

These are momentous times for the Cedar Rapids economy. On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for the Cedar Rapids area stood at 3.2 percent in May, even tighter than the national unemployment rate of 4.3 percent for the same period.Meanwhile, the housing market recorded its lowest inventory of housing on the market in two years with 1,482 active listings in June 2017, 540 less than June 2015. On average, the number of days that houses were on the market dropped from 87 to 62 in the last …

Population Growth Sparks Apartment Development Wave in Des Moines

While recently visiting a local Starbucks, I noticed an employee behind the counter with a tattoo in the shape of California. I decided to ask the barista if she was from the Golden State, and indeed she was.I asked what brought her to Des Moines, thinking she would say family or a love interest, but I was wrong. She had read and heard so much positive press about the Des Moines area that she decided to give it a shot.[caption id="attachment_179198" align="alignright" width="100"] Rick …

Sioux City Experiences ‘Crane Craze’ Across Property Types

The skies are dotted with cranes — not the type you would find on route west to the Sandhills of Nebraska, but the type synonymous with a robust economy. It is safe to say there have never been so many cranes at work in the history of Sioux City. Several large industrial projects are resulting in further development of retail and multifamily space that has been in demand for some time in Sioux City. Retail, entertainment wave[caption id="attachment_159994" align="alignright" …

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