CBJ Report: Iowa City council orders up another round of food trucks

The city council in Iowa City last week officially approved a revised, 90-day pilot program to let food trucks operate downtown. (CBS2/FOX28)

Every week, the Corridor Business Journal shares stories it's working on with CBS 2 News. Here are some of their top stories that will appear in Monday's edition of the CBJ.

Iowa City council orders up another round of food trucks

The city council in Iowa City last week officially approved a revised, 90-day pilot program to let food trucks operate downtown.

The 90-day pilot program builds on an earlier pilot that launched in 2014, when the city allowed food trucks to operate at select times at Chauncey Swan Park near city hall, City Park and the East Side Recycling Center.

This year, the pilot will take place at three rotating locations, with only one active location at a time. The trucks will be based on Clinton Street, north of Market Street; in the Robert A. Lee Recreation Parking Lot, and on Dubuque Street, between Jefferson Street and Iowa Avenue.

According to city staff, the selected locations were based on input from the Iowa City Downtown District and Iowa City and the Iowa City Mobile Vending Association.

"While there is considerable and understandable disagreement as to whether a pilot should take place at all, the program attempts to balance locations where there is enough foot traffic as to make the pilot informative while maintaining a reasonable distance from existing establishments," Assistant City Manager Simon Andrew wrote in a memo to city staff.

The trucks will not be allowed to operate in restricted areas, including select spots downtown, residential areas or within 150 feet of any restaurant. The pilot will allow food trucks to operate between 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays only. Daytime vending currently allowed by city code will continue unchanged.

We Run heads to Cedar Rapids

The runner-owned specialty store We Run will be expanding into Cedar Rapids this month with a familiar location.

The business will open Feb. 14 at 1950 Dodge Road NE, Suite 103, which many runners will know as the former Cedar Rapids location of Running Wild, a local specialty chain that closed last November.

Owned by runners Kris and Brian Tharp, We Run has been catering to Corridor runners from a location at 555 Highway 965 South, Suite B, North Liberty, for five years.

Employee Rachel Flowers said the Cedar Rapids store will offer We Run’s product lines and running shoe expertise, and host popular running events like the March 18 Lucky Run.

We Run’s arrival marks the second specialty running store to make plans in the city this year. Iowa Running Company last month announced plans to open a new store on Third Street in Cedar Rapids’ NewBo district.

Transamerica unit sells KTOS building to Armar Plaza owner

The former home of Kirkwood Training and Outreach Services (KTOS) has been sold to the owner of Armar Plaza in Marion for $2 million by a Transamerica real estate unit.

Jon Dusek of TCC Investments, which acquired the 35,784-square-foot building and 4.6-acre site, said it was an opportunity to acquire the remaining parcel he and his TCC Investments partner Ace Aossey did not own in the Armar Plaza.

Most of Armar Plaza is leased to U.S. Cellular for its customer service call center operations. TCC Investments is offering the former KTOS space for lease, and considering a variety of potential uses including retail, office, or an events center that would host weddings and receptions.

The Kirkwood programs and the Kirkwood Small Business Development Center that formerly used the space have been relocated to the college's Linn County Regional Center at 1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha. The building includes five classrooms, two computer labs and a private office. The sale price was equivalent to $55.89 per square foot.

Mr. Aossey was developer of Armar Plaza, and originally built the space that became the KTOS center as a Barlow Foods store, Mr. Dusek said. The owners may rename the plaza as the CEMAR Center, a name reflecting its location near the border of Marion and Cedar Rapids, and earlier uses such as CEMAR amusement park.

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