- New Trial Hearing for '06 Waterloo Murder
- Open Doors, Open Minds
- UI Combating Mumps
- Firefighter Loses Home to Fire
- Microsoft Unveils Several New Products
- Twilight Reverses Gender Roles for Anniversary
- Heating Costs Expected to be Lower
- Groups Form to Battle Constant Violence
- Tax Breaks Considered for Manufacturers
- Vet Calls for Zoo Animals to be Moved
- Ex-Guard Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges
- Teen Hits Squad Car
- Dog Shot in Waterloo
- Affordable Housing Discussion
- Shooter Rants in Writings About Having No Girlfriend
- 12 Killed in South Carolina Flooding
- Iowa Rep. Miller Won't Seek Re-election
- Snobbiest Cities In Iowa?
- Voices of Diversity: DBQ Veteran Uses Art to Manage PTSD
- Name Released in Dubuque Homicide
- Homecoming Celebrated With Corn at UI
- Pumpkin Patch Harvests Community Help
- Police: Badger Fan Punched Teen Hawk Fan
- CONSUMER ALERT: Cheerio Recall
- US, Pacific Rim Countries Reach Trade Deal
- Car Pulled from AL Church's Attic
- Iowa's Largest Insurer Entering ACA Exchange
- Governor on Planned Parenthood
- Branstad: Can't Remove Regents
- New Pi, Backpocket Announce New Brew
- Injuries Reported in Train Derailment
- Branstad Unveils Higher Education Goals
- Violent Acts Rattle Community
- Pumpkins Plentiful Despite Rain
- Arietta Takes Jab at Pirates
- Fourth IC School Blue Zone Certified
- ROAD TRIPPIN': Decorah's Mainstreet
- Fmr ISU Basketball Player Turns Himself in
- Your Solution To Mass Shootings
- Vets THRIVE Needs Sponsors, Volunteers
- UAW Ratifies Agreement with Deere
- Broncos Slip Past Vikings
- Four-Year-Old Killed in ATV Crash
- Branstad's Anti-Bullying Office Raises Questions
- Downtown DM YMCA Goes Down
- Mammoth Recovered in Michigan
- More Crops But Lower Prices
- New Details Released in Oregon Shooting
- Get Out the Vote Event for CR Public Library
- Especially for You Race Sunday
New Uses for Old Buildings
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 09:39 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – Almost six years ago, flood waters ruined much of downtown Cedar Rapids. The City’s voluntary acquisition program helped to renovate thousands of destroyed properties. Now, the city is working with individual people to help clean up some of the remaining land.
Just south of the New Bohemia District is a house with a heart.
The city owns it now but soon it’ll be Beth DeBoom’s. She hopes to eventually renovate the building and open a shop on the first floor.
"My family is originally from this neighborhood so I remember what it looked like,” said DeBoom, the President of Save Cedar Rapids Heritage.
"Unfortunately after the floods, we lost a lot of those residential properties so these few that are remaining are very important to us,” said the Executive Director of the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District Jennifer Pruden.
Beth says without the work that she and Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District have done, the historical structure likely would have been demolished.
"It's like a scarred battlefield right now. But I know what it looked like before and I know what it can look like again,” said DeBoom.
But it takes the kind of tender loving care that only a private developer can provide. When the city gets involved, it often has no choice but to tear these buildings down.
"In those cases, the vast majority of those cases, the structures we've purchased, we've demolished,” said the Executive Administrator for Development Services in Cedar Rapids Joe O’Hern.
But when private developers step in, it can mean a preserved building that is able to contribute to property taxes,” and we have another asset in the community, so we really do like to see that happen,” said O’Hern.
But it doesn’t happen without people like Beth taking the first step.
"I'm a writer by profession but right now I'm a developer, I'm developing a property, I'll be carpenter, and then I'll be a shop owner,” said DeBoom.
Beth says her plan is to open an architectural salvage shop that will have household materials for sale. She hopes to open in November.