CBJ Report: Bite Squad launches restaurant delivery service in CR

CBJ Report

Bite Squad launches restaurant delivery service in CR

Bite Squad, an on-demand restaurant delivery service, today announced its arrival in Cedar Rapids with a promotion that promises free delivery for a year to customers who order during Sept. 7-9.

Bite Squad will offer delivery from more than 25 area restaurants at launch, including El Rancho Mexican Restaurant, Bushwood Sports Bar and Grill, Roscoe's Pizza, Runt's Munchies, Saucy Focaccia, Red Ginger, Wasabi, Butcher Block Steakhouse, Zio Johno's Spaghetti House and Lucita's Diner. Delivery is available within a seven-mile radius of participating restaurant partners.

Customers in the Cedar Rapids service area can order Bite Squad seven days a week, from 10:30 am-10 p.m. Delivery fees start at $2.99. Orders can be placed on the Bite Squad app or at

Customers eligible for the Free Delivery for a Year promotion will receive a one-year complimentary membership to Bite Squad's subscription-based service, Unlimited. Unlimited customers normally pay a low monthly fee that covers the cost of delivery, no matter how many times they order. To receive the complimentary membership, customers in the new delivery area must place an order through the service between 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 7 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 9. Full details are available here.

"We're really excited to bring the Bite Squad experience to Cedar Rapids and to delight new customers with a year of free delivery," Craig Key, Bite Squad's chief marketing officer, said in a release. "We invite folks to try out our service during our opening weekend and, in return, they'll get free delivery for a whole year."

$15M senior living co-op planned for CR's west side

A 48-unit senior housing cooperative could soon complement The Gardens, which began offering independent living, assisted living and skilled care nursing services a year ago near the intersection of Williams Boulevard and Highway 30 in Cedar Rapids.

The Prairie Gardens Cooperative at 3550 Stone Creek Circle SW will include 1,000 to 1,500-square-foot cooperative living units with upscale finishes and underground parking, according to Jim Angstmann, a member of Speyside Development LLC and commercial realtor at Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty. Most of the living units will be two-bedroom, however one-bedroom and three-bedroom units will be available. Amenities will include a pub/game room, fitness room, community room, patio, underground parking and two elevators.

Mr. Angstmann said three of the four investors in the $15 million project are also investors in The Gardens, which is already 75 percent full. When considering other ventures to meet the rising senior housing demand in the Corridor, Mr. Angstmann said co-op living for seniors rose quickly to the top. He said co-ops provide a way for seniors to live independently at a much lower monthly cost than independent living facilities, and enable seniors who are selling their traditional homes or condos to reinvest in real estate while shedding the burdens of maintenance.

"It's a good way to reinvest and not lose anything," Mr. Angstmann said. Co-op members will be part of a community of owners and have voting rights, he said. Typically, cooperatives also host social gatherings for their members.

Residents who later turn out to need a higher level of care will have priority consideration for openings in The Gardens, a $16 million continuing care retirement community with all-private rooms, culinary-trained chefs, and amenities like Alexa voice-activated systems. Volunteer opportunities at The Gardens are expected to become a social and community-building option for residents of Prairie Gardens, Mr. Angstmann said.

The Cedar Rapids City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone 3.8 acres of land for the project from a C-1 Mixed Neighborhood Convenience designation to a RMF-2 Multi-Family designation on Aug. 28, and is expected to consider the second and third readings this month. A groundbreaking is tentatively set for Oct. 1.

UI Art Building to house new innovation center

The building where Grant Wood created his world-famous art soon will become a place where University of Iowa students and faculty can collaborate and innovate to solve big problems facing the world.

The UI announced Thursday it will ask the state's Board of Regents at its September meeting for permission to convert the former Art Building into an innovation center that crosses disciplinary boundaries and brings people together to experiment, learn and build.

"The Art Building will once again become a space for inspiration and collaboration," David Hensley, executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), said in a statement. "By bringing together inventors, creators and leaders from a variety of backgrounds and skills, we will significantly enhance the university's ability to support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs."

Innovation centers are becoming increasingly common on university campuses, with Iowa State University set to open its own innovation center next year. The idea is to create an environment that gathers collaborators from both on and off campus to bring groundbreaking research and scholarship to the rest of the world through new businesses and social entrepreneurship.

Most often, innovation centers are gleaming, futuristic-looking new construction. But UI planners say the repurposed Depression-era Art Building is a perfect place to encourage innovation and creativity, because the building itself is the result of those skills.

Opened in 1936, the building was originally conceived as an arts colony that would bring to life the Iowa Idea, a then-revolutionary concept that brought the teaching of art history and art creation under a single roof.

Programming for the innovation center still is under development. It is being coordinated by Mr. Hensley and Sarah Gardial, dean of the Tippie College of Business.

"We will meet with deans, faculty members and many other campus partners in the coming months to gather their ideas," Ms. Gardial said in a release. "We want to ensure the innovation center is a welcoming place for potential innovators and entrepreneurs from all across campus, students and faculty in every college and department, and from around the state of Iowa."

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