Challenge grant awarded toward buildings’ renovation
Posted by PM on January 30th, 2012 10:19 am
CEDAR RAPIDS — At face value, the two flood-damaged buildings in the middle of the New Bohemia district might seem unworthy of repair.
The buildings at 1113 and 1117 Third St. SE in Cedar Rapids New Bohemia district will be restored with the help of a challenge grant through Main Street Iowa. The $50,000 grant will be matched by owner Jon Jelinek.
But businessman Jon Jelinek saw things differently, and now the homes will be restored with the help of a $50,000 challenge grant through Main Street Iowa.
“It’s going to complete that side of the street,” said landscape architect Ruth Fox of Cedar Rapids, who worked on the grant application. “Everything will be whole.”
Fox said the grant was one of nine awarded Saturday in a competitive process.
Jelinek found success after the Floods of 2008 in restoring other buildings in the fledgling arts and entertainment district, including Parlor City Pub and Eatery, 1125 Third St. SE.
Rebuilding the two houses will be more of a labor of love, he said, noting that he expects to pour more than $200,000 into the project.
The one-story home, 1113 Third St. SE, which sports a gaping hole after the removal of the rear of the building — an addition that sustained heavy flood damage — will become a one-room bed-and-breakfast with food catered by Parlor City.
Jelinek said the two-story building, 1117 Third St. SE, will have commercial space for a business on the first floor, with a two-bedroom apartment upstairs.
A rendering shows the plans for the renovated buildings. The home on the left will house a business with a two-bedroom apartment upstairs, while the one on the right will serve as a one-room bed-and-breakfast.
That living space was integral to the neighborhood at its inception, when business owners lived above or near their shops.
The smaller home, at 264 square feet, was built in 1875 by Albert and Anna Herda and was one of the first houses in the neighborhood, according to the grant application.
John and Effie Blazej built the larger home in 1900. Once restored, the building will have 1,588 square feet.
Already, CSPS, a 120-year-old Czech social hall, and the firehouse next door have undergone a $7 million rehabilitation.
Jelinek restored the building housing Parlor City and the one next to the restaurant, 1123 Third St. SE, which houses Third Street Resale and True Salon.
The entire district is making a comeback with a new streetscape after it was inundated with 12 feet of Cedar River floodwaters in June 2008. The NewBo City Market is planned across the street.
“It didn’t really all hit me until after the flood,” Jelinek said. “It takes a little longer and a little more money, but you can’t (replicate) a 100-year-old building, so we’re trying to save everything we can down here.”
The $50,000 grant is the second for the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District.
Two years ago, the Suchy building, 1006 Third St. SE, also received a grant.
Caterer Tony Bata plans to open a restaurant in the building, which was the site of the H.D. Youth Center when it was flooded in 2008.
David and Lijun Chadima of the family-operated Thorland Co., which owns the Suchy building, said completion is targeted for this spring.
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