Cedar Rapids holds second meeting about growth of College District

Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the City of Cedar Rapids is holding an open house to discuss the revitalization of the College District, spanning from Coe College to Mount Mercy. (CBS2/FOX28)

As CBS2 News first reported in July - neighbors, business owners, and college students are working together on developing Cedar Rapids' College District. The district spans from Coe College to Mount Mercy University, including the Irish District and the Mound View Neighborhood. The city will be holding an open house Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Clark Alumni House at Coe College. It is the city's chance to present its action plan based on feedback from July's meeting - and they say they have been inspired by NewBo.

"NewBo is a great example of an area that can seek growth and revitalization where you have strong neighborhoods, you have diverse retail, you have housing," said Emily Breen, Communications Coordinator for Development Services of the City of Cedar Rapids. "We can really take elements of that and transplant that to other neighborhoods and around the city."

One of the goals is to build on the interests of the students at the two colleges. Mount Mercy President Laurie Hamen attended the summer’s meeting and will be there at Tuesday's open house.

"This is a group of people who really care about what happens to their neighborhood," said Hamen. "I think the same about the people at Coe, the people at Mount Mercy, and the Irish District. These are people who care deeply." She said that one of the biggest needs is more affordable housing for students at Mount Mercy University. Another need is more businesses to create a vibrant scene for students.

"To live in a neighborhood where they can walk to businesses, walk to get something to eat, walk to any kind of entertainment options ride their bikes--all of those things seem really important to our students," said Hamen.

President Hamen said 85 percent of Mount Mercy University students stay in the Corridor after graduation, and the plan to invigorate the neighborhood can only help that number to grow.

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