Cedar Rapids Information and Highlights

Located just 70 miles from the Mississippi River in Eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is positioned conveniently and centrally between six of the Midwest's major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, and St. Louis.

The Cedar Rapids area - considered to be Eastern Iowa's hub - is located on Interstate 380 and U.S. Highways 30, 151 and 218.

As Iowa’s second largest city, Cedar Rapids is the perfect place to put down roots.

As the true heart of Eastern Iowa, our 2014 All-America City has world-class arts and culture, family-friendly festivals throughout the year, an ever-growing shopping scene, fabulous restaurants, award-winning wineries and breweries, and endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

With the newest convention space in Iowa, five full service hotels, and 3,000 rooms throughout the metro area, Cedar Rapids is poised to host convention and events from across the country. Excellent air service, as well as superb highways and interstates, make Cedar Rapids easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
In addition to our many amenities, Cedar Rapids is also …

  •     The largest corn-processing city in the world
  •     The second largest producer of wind energy in the United States
  •     One of the leading manufacturing regions in the United States
  •     One of the leading bio-processing and food ingredient centers in North America
  •     One of a few cities in the world with government offices located on an island
  •     Home to almost 300 different manufacturing plants and two dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Rockwell Collins, General Mills, and Quaker Oats.

Rankings and Honors

  • Cedar Rapids and Marion have been named Top 10 Most Livable Cities on AARP's Livability Index! Cedar Rapids is No. 7 on the Most Livable list for medium cities due to its innovative programs, such as the program that transforms empty lots into vegetable gardens. Cedar Rapids also ranked No. 4 as one of the Best Cities For Making New Friends because research indicates it's a city where residents look out for family and neighbors, join civic groups and vote often. Marion is No. 9 on the Most Livable list for small cities with researchers referencing its vibrant Uptown Marion neighborhood. (Source: AARP, Apr. 2015).
  • We're happy! Based on low unemployment, low commute times, income, home ownership, proximity to parks and preserves the Cedar Rapids zip code 52411 has been named by Movoto Real Estate as the 5th Happiest ZIP Codes In America! (Source: Movoto Real Estate, Feb. 2015).
  • Cedar Rapids has been named one of the 10 Best Affordable Places to Live (Source: Livability.com, Jan. 2015).
  • At the Movoto Real Estate Blog they know a thing or two about finding a good place to live. And they just named Cedar Rapids #4 on the list of the 10 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Education In America. (Source: Movoto Real Estate Blog, Jan. 2015).
  • Named All-America City in 2014 (Source: National Civic League, June 2014).
  • Designated #4 Best Cities for Kids in 2014 (Source: Livibility.com, May 2014).
  • Ranked #30 Smartest City In America in 2013 (Source: Lumosity).
  • Ranked #1 in Iowa for Top 100 Best Places to Live and 30th in the nation in Livability.com's "Top 100 Best Places to Live" ranking (Source: Livability.com, October 2014).
  • Chosen 9th for Top 10 Best Places to Retire 2013 in Livability.com's "Top 10 Best Places to Retire" ranking (Source: Livability.com, November 2013).
  • Considered one of America's Best Cities on the Rise, according to Smarter Travel. We ranked 11th as an exceptional, up-and-coming destination (Source: Smarter Travel.com, September 2012).
  • Chosen as one of the Best Places for Business & Careers, according to Forbes magazine. Our city is ranked 33rd out of the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., based on cost of doing business, job growth, education, employment, housing and quality of life (Source: Forbes.com, June 2012).
  • Selected as one of Milken Institute's 2011 Best Performing Cities. We are ranked 13th, up 15 spots from the previous year. This index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth (Source: Milken Institute, December 2011).

To learn even more about Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area vist CedarRapids.com. If you are ready to buy or sell your property in Cedar Rapids or the surrounding communities, contact Pinnacle Realty today!

History of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The location of present-day Cedar Rapids was in the territory of the Fox and Sac tribes.

The first permanent settler, Osgood Shepherd, arrived in 1838. When Cedar Rapids was first established in 1838, William Stone named the town Columbus. In 1841 it was resurveyed and renamed by N.B. Brown and his associates. They named the town Cedar Rapids for the rapids in the Cedar River at the site, and the river itself was named for the large number of red cedar trees that grew along its banks. Cedar Rapids was incorporated on January 15, 1849. Cedar Rapids annexed the community of Kingston in 1870.

The economic growth of Cedar Rapids increased in 1871 upon the founding of the Sinclair meatpacking company.

Flood of 2008

During the Iowa flood of 2008, the Cedar River reached a record high of 31.12 feet (9.49 m) on June 13, 2008, the previous record was 20 feet (6.1 m) surpassing the 500-year flood plain. 1,126 city blocks were flooded, or more than 10 square miles (26 km2), 561 city blocks were severely damaged, on both banks of the Cedar River. This is 14% of the city's total area. There were a total of 7,749 flooded properties that had to be evacuated, 5,900 were homes, and 310 were city facilities including the City Hall, Central Fire Station, Main Public Library, Ground Transportation Center, Public Works building, and Animal Control building. It is estimated 1300 or more properties are to be demolished in the Cedar Rapids area because of the flood.

Geography

The city is divided into four quadrants, used in addressing. 1st Avenue (U.S. Route 151 Business) divides the north and south sides of the city, and the Cedar River divides east and west. Mays Island, in the middle of the river, is the only area of the city where addresses have no quadrant. Areas outside of the city limit that use the "Cedar Rapids" city name on their mailing address also do not use the quadrants.

Except in the downtown area, 1st Avenue and the Cedar River tend to run diagonally instead of along the cardinal directions. Due to the curving of 1st Avenue, there are some areas in western Cedar Rapids where NW addresses are actually south of SW addresses.

Cedar Rapids is divided into fourteen ZIP Codes. Mays Island and the downtown area are covered by 52401. The northeast quadrant is covered by 52402 and 52411. The southeast quadrant is covered by 52403. The southwest quadrant is covered by 52404. The northwest quadrant is covered by 52405. Post office boxes are covered by ZIP codes 52406, 52407, 52408, 52409, and 52410. Several other ZIP codes are for specific business (Aegon USA, Rockwell Collins, etc.).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 72.07 square miles (186.66 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183.37 km2) is land and 1.27 square miles (3.29 km2) is water.


Neighborhoods

Czech Village is at the heart of the city's Czech heritage.

Czech Village is located along 16th Avenue SW, which is south of the Cedar River. It is home to such Czech-related businesse. The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is one of the major tourist attractions in Cedar Rapids, and the nearby Bohemian National Cemetery may also be of interest to visitors. The National Czech & Slovak Museum's main building was located directly on the river and was badly damaged by the 2008 floods. As of late 2010, the board of directors of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is pursuing a plan to move and then elevate its flood-damaged museum building. There is a temporary location open in Czech Village that people may visit as the main site is in the process of recovery.

The Cedar Rapids Czech Heritage Foundation is one of many local organizations working to promote and preserve Czech heritage in Cedar Rapids. They support and sponsor many programs and events throughout the year. One of these programs is the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant. Two Miss Czech-Slovak US queens can claim this

In 2003, the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa opened its doors. Cedar Rapids is also home to the historic 26 acre (105,000 m²) Brucemore Estate, on which sits a 21-room mansion, and the Masonic Library and Museum.

There are twelve active neighborhood associations in Cedar Rapids. The neighborhoods nearest downtown include Wellington Heights and Oakhill Jackson in the southeast quadrant and Moundview in the northeast quadrant. Also farther north in the northeast quadrant is the Kenwood Park which was independent until it was incorporated into the Cedar Rapids city limits and Noelridge Park neighborhood. The boundaries of Kenwood are 32nd Street to Oakland Road to Old Marion Road to C Avenue to 40th Street then 1st Avenue between 40th street and 32nd Street.[14]

In addition to the neighborhood associations in Cedar Rapids, there are many informal, unofficial neighborhoods, such as Bowman Woods, Vernon Heights, Stoney Point, New Bohemia (NewBo) and Wilderness Estates.

Climate

Cedar Rapids has a humid continental climate with long, cold, sometimes brutal winters with plenty of snow, while summers are hot and humid, with frequent severe thunderstorms.


The record low temperature in Cedar Rapids is −29 °F (−34 °C), set on January 15, 2009,[16] while the record high temperature of 104 °F (40 °C) was set on July 31, 1988.

Demographics

The Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Linn, Benton, and Jones counties. The MSA had a 2000 census population of 237,230, with an estimated 2008 population of 255,452; Linn County was the only county in the MSA before the MSA was redefined after the 2000 census.

As a growing job center, Cedar Rapids pulls commuters from nearby Marion and Hiawatha. Other towns that have become bedroom communities include Ely, Swisher, Shueyville, Palo, Atkins, Fairfax, Walford, Robins and Bertram.

Based on the 2010 American Community Survey 1 Year Estimates, the median income for a household in the city was $51,186, and the median income for a family was $63,265. Males had a median income of $40,413 versus $26,402 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,370. About 6.3% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under the age of 18 and 4.3% of those 65 or older.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 126,326 people, 53,236 households, and 30,931 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,784.3 people per square mile (688.9/km²). There were 57,217 housing units at an average density of 808.2 per square mile (312.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.98% White, 5.58% African American, 0.31% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 2.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.31% of the population.

There were 53,236 households of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.

Age spread: 23.5% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.3 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

Muslim heritage

Cedar Rapids has played an important role in Muslim culture in the United States. The National Muslim Cemetery on 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land donated by Haj. Yahya William Aossey in 1948 is said to be the first exclusively Muslim cemetery in North America. Graves in the cemetery face Mecca. The Mother Mosque of America, dedicated on June 16, 1934, is the longest standing mosque in North America.[24][25] In 1972, another mosque was built and the original mosque was sold and fell into disrepair before being purchased in 1990 by the Islamic Council of Iowa and renovated. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Iowa flood of 2008 extensively damaged the basement, destroying many historic documents.

Muslim presence in the area dates to 1895 when the first immigrants arrived from the Beqaa Valley in today's Lebanon and Syria. Islamic Services of America (I.S.A.) was established in Cedar Rapids in 1975 and provides Halal Certification and supervision throughout the world.

Economy

Cedar Rapids is one of the largest cities in the world for corn processing. The grain processing industry is Cedar Rapids' most important sector, directly providing 4,000 jobs that pay on average $85,000, and also providing 8,000 indirectly. Fortune 500 company Rockwell Collins is based in Cedar Rapids, and Aegon has its United States headquarters here. A large Quaker Oats mill, one of the four that merged in 1901 to form Quaker Oats, dominates the north side of downtown. Other large companies that have facilities in Cedar Rapids include Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, General Mills, Toyota Financial Services and Nordstrom. Newspaperarchive, based in Cedar Rapids, is the largest newspaper archive in North America with a repository of more than 150 million pages assembled over 250 years; it was taken offline for two days by the 2008 flood.

Top employers

According to Cedar Rapids' 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the area are:

  • Rockwell Collins
  • Transamerica
  • St. Luke's Hospital
  • Cedar Rapids Community School District
  • Hy-Vee
  • Mercy Medical Center
  • Kirkwood Community College
  • City of Cedar Rapids
  • Nordstrom
  • Quaker Oats

Arts and Culture

Cedar Rapids is home to Orchestra Iowa, the Paramount Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and Brucemore, a National Trust Historic Site, among others.

Cedar Rapids is also home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, The Cedar Rapids Ceramics Center, Legion Art's CSPS Hall, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the African American Historical Museum, Kirkwood Community College's Iowa Hall Gallery, and the legendary Grant Wood Studio at 5 Turner Alley. These Cedar Rapids venues have recently hosted world class and award nominated exhibitions, including the works of Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, and the Iowa Biennial, among others.

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Grant Wood paintings in the world. The 1920s Paramount Theatre is home to the Orchestra Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Area Theatre Organ Society. Concerts and events such as high school graduations, sporting events, exhibitions, and political rallies are held in the U.S. Cellular Center, formerly known as The Five Seasons Center.

Many arts centers in Cedar Rapids sustained severe damage during the June 2008 flood. Among those severely damaged are the Paramount Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the National Czech & Slovak Museum, and the African American Historical Museum. Two Wurlitzer organs were damaged, located at the Paramount Theatre and Theatre Cedar Rapids. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art suffered minor damage. It is expected to cost $25 million to repair the Paramount; Theatre Cedar Rapids reopened in February 2010.


Sports

Cedar Rapids is home to four minor league sports franchises:

  • The Cedar Rapids Kernels, a member of minor league baseball's Midwest League since 1962, are the Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and play at Veterans Memorial Stadium
  • The Cedar Rapids Roughriders are members of the United States Hockey League, playing at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
  • The Cedar Rapids Titans, members of the Indoor Football League, play at the U.S. Cellular Center
  • The Cedar Rapids Rampage play Major Arena Soccer League matches at the U.S. Cellular Center

Parks and Recreation

Cedar Rapids has over 3,360 acres (13.6 km2) of city owned property for undeveloped green space and recreational use. There are 74 formally named parks or recreational facilities. These include baseball and softball fields, all-weather basketball courts, two frisbee golf courses, sand volleyball courts, the Tuma Soccer Complex, a BMX dirt track, two off-leash dog exercise areas, the Old MacDonald's Farm (a children's zoo), 10 splash pads, and many parks that have pavilions, picnicking areas and restroom facilities. The various trail systems in Cedar Rapids have a total of 24 miles (39 km) for walking, running or bicycling.

The YMCA has had a local chapter since 1868. It has many facilities including Camp Wapsie.

Government

From April 6, 1908, to December 31, 2005, Cedar Rapids used the city commission form of government. It was one of the few larger American cities remaining to operate under this model. Under this form of government, the council was made up of a public safety commissioner, a streets commissioner, a finance commissioner, a parks commissioner, and a mayor. The council members worked on a full-time basis, served two-year terms, and were considered department heads. Don Canney, the longest serving mayor in city history, served for twenty-two years under this system. The last mayor of Cedar Rapids under this form of government was Paul Pate.

On June 14, 2005, voters went to the polls to decide whether to adopt a new form of government or continue with the commission form. 28,818 of the 83,514 registered voters (29.72%) cast ballots on the issue. 68.80% of the voters decided to adopt a new form of government. Elections were held on November 8, 2005 and 30 candidates ran. Kay Halloran, a retired attorney and state legislator, became the first mayor elected under the new system. Several members of the city council were elected outright; however, the remaining races were close enough to require a runoff election, which took place in December.

Cedar Rapids now has an Iowa "Home Rule" charter which establishes a weak mayor system with a part-time City Council and Mayor both on four-year terms.

Education

Cedar Rapids is home to two four-year colleges: Coe College and Mount Mercy University. The University of Iowa also has an evening MBA facility there. Kirkwood Community College is the area's only two-year college, while Kaplan University (formerly Hamilton College) and Upper Iowa University also have campuses there. Cornell College in Mount Vernon and the University of Iowa's main campus in Iowa City are both within 30 miles (48 km) of Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar Rapids Community School District is the largest school district in the metropolitan area. The district contains 24 elementary schools, six middle schools, and four high schools: Jefferson, Washington, Kennedy, and Metro High School (an alternative high school). Two neighboring school districts draw students from within the Cedar Rapids city limits. The Linn-Mar Community School District serves part of the northeast quadrant of the city and has seven elementary schools inside the city limits. The College Community School District serves part of the southwest quadrant of Cedar Rapids as well as neighboring rural portions of Linn, Benton and Johnson counties. Located in a central campus off Interstate 380 are College Community's five elementary schools, Prairie Creek Intermediate, Prairie Point Middle School & Ninth Grade Academy, and Prairie High School.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Catholic Education System, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school (Xavier). The Cedar Rapids Catholic Education System and Cedar Rapids Community School District are synonymous with each other in the Cedar Rapids Public and Parochial School System.

The city hosts several private schools, including Cedar Valley Christian School, Trinity Lutheran School, Isaac Newton Christian Academy, and Faith Christian Learning Center.

Transportation

Cedar Rapids is served by The Eastern Iowa Airport (formerly known as the Cedar Rapids Airport), a regional airport that connects with other regional and international airports. Cedar Rapids Transit and private bus lines also connect at the airport.

Interstate 380, part of the Avenue of the Saints, runs north-south through Cedar Rapids. U.S. Highways 30, 151, and 218 and Iowa Highway 13 and Iowa Highway 100 also serve the city.

Cedar Rapids is served by four major railroads. They are the Union Pacific, the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway (Crandic), the Canadian National, and the Iowa Northern Railway Company [IANR]. The Iowa Northern Railway has its headquarters in the historic Paramount Theater Building. The Crandic and the Iowa Interstate Railroad also are headquartered in Cedar Rapids. The Iowa Interstate reaches the city via the Crandic tracks, running a daily train from Iowa City, Iowa to Cedar Rapids.


Cedar Rapids is linked to other Midwestern cities by the Burlington Trailways bus hub at the Eastern Iowa Airport.

The city is also served by Cedar Rapids Transit, consisting of an extensive bus system and taxis. Cedar Rapids Transit operates scheduled bus service throughout the city and to Marion and Hiawatha. A series of enclosed pedestrian skywalks connect several downtown buildings.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia and the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

If you are ready to buy or sell your property in Cedar Rapids or the surrounding communities, contact Pinnacle Realty today!