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Kingston Village Means Corridor Revitalization

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The City of Cedar Rapids declared that they are, "taking care of business, during Wednesdays State of the City luncheon. Mayor Ron Corbett emphasized the city council's goal to get flood protection on both sides of the river, and to repair streets.

The money from the local option sales tax starts coming in this July, but the city will start fronting money for road projects ahead of time so crews can get started. It's a big deal for a local company, Dave Schmidt Construction, that will work on 86 street projects planned for this year.

"I think what citizens are going to see is a lot where we scrape off that top, and we really rebuild the street for them, and I think that's going to serve us better for a longer period of time," Cedar Rapids City Councilperson, Monica Vernon said.

Another success story shared was Kingston Village, located off of 1st Street SW and 3rd Avenue. It's an area that's being aggressively developed to the tune of millions of dollars.

For four and a half years, Juliet Pae-Corr has been defending her decision to open Fix Salon in the Kingston Village.

"Its been kind of lonely. People thought I was crazy moving into an abandoned building, Pae-Corr said.

That didnt phase Pae-Corr. She wanted to be downtown.

"Someone has to believe in downtown! she said.

It appears that Brandon Godwin believes too. He will be the General Manager at a brand new Italian restaurant, Popoli, right across the street from Pae-Corrs salon in the old Wells Fargo building. Godwin said hes hoping to open the restaurant on April 7th.

"It won't just be just Italian; it'll just be a lot of fun foods, and a lot of experiences. I think this is a good revitalization because downtown seems to be better off right now than it was in '08, Godwin said.

The building will also use the old Wells Fargo vault as a private dining room.

And, right next door, architect, Kim Schmidt, helped design the Kingston Common Condominiums.

"You've got the Cedar River, you've got all the downtown there to see, it's pretty impressive. You really are in the core of downtown Cedar Rapids, Schmidt said.

There are 17 condos in the building that are about 1600 square feet each and they start at about $300,000. So far seven of the units have sold.

The condos and restaurant could eventually be near the proposed casino in downtown.

"I think no matter whether a casino comes or not, that area will continue to grow!" Vernon said.  She added that if the casino is built in downtown Cedar Rapids, she feels it will be a fantastic way to draw folks into the city.

A final decision on the casino should be made by April 17th.

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