According to Corridor Business Journal, the Cedar Rapids City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, to move ahead with the purchase of a building formerly owned by United Fire Group (UFG) in downtown Cedar Rapids.

UFG has seen an upswing in remote/at-home workers, while the Cedar Rapids Police Department, conversely, needs more office space. It, therefore, makes sense, according to City Manager Jeff Pomerantz, for them to purchase the building at 101 1st Ave. SE.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette says UFG originally had the building for sale at $2.7 million but will sell it to the city for $2.5 million. The building, seen above in 2021, would free up room at the police station by creating additional space for staff.

City finance director Casey Drew says the police station is at capacity. The Cedar Rapids Police Department is also likely to relocate its Joint Communications Dispatch Center there, expand locker rooms and add more classroom or meeting spaces for the police department, according to the Gazette.

It would be able to create additional space for the following as well:

  • Police department training
  • Regional Police Academy classroom
  • Police in-service training classroom
  • Use-of-force simulator
  • Offices for city departments in need of more space
  • Training defensive tactics area
  • Training simulation/scenario area
  • Storage for Records Unit files

The sale also includes a 10-year lease agreement between UFG and the city, including 10 reserved spaces in the adjacent private ramp at a monthly lease rate of $850. It would also include free parking from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and 24/7 on weekends for another 10 parking spaces. These spaces are for city staff only.

Even with potential costs related to remodeling, Corridor Business Journal reports the purchase of the existing building will save nearly $20 million compared to building a new facility for these uses.

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