CR’s Glenbrook Centre to get a new look

An architect’s rendering of renovations planned for the Glenbrook Centre in Cedar Rapids. RENDERING KAJAT ENTERPRISES


By Dave DeWitte
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Redevelopment is coming to the Glenbrook Centre following the sale of the nearly 50-year-old mixed-use center near Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids.

The set of properties was acquired on Feb. 1 by KAJAT Properties of Cedar Rapids for more than $1.9 million. The complex consists of four buildings at 4341, 4347 and 4353 First Ave. SE, and at 11 Glenbrook Drive SE.

One of those buildings houses eight ground-floor commercial spaces ranging from 435-1,100 square feet, with two levels of apartments above. The other buildings are all multifamily, with a total of 58 rental units.

KAJAT Principal Tom Belin said the property is showing signs of age, but has a prime location that gives it great potential.

“You cannot get any better location along First Avenue,” Mr. Belin said. “We’re going to redevelop the storefronts so we get more height and create something that invites people back there.”

Giving the property more line-of-sight visibility to motorists is important, because Glenbrook Centre is located on higher terrain overlooking First Avenue, he explained. That higher elevation makes it easy to miss the center, despite being located on a busy thoroughfare and next to a car lot.

A redevelopment plan still being finalized will give Glenbrook Centre the feel of “a little community,” Mr. Belin said. KAJAT will target tenants such as a coffee shop and a high-quality convenience store, both of which would bring traffic to the center and serve residents.

Current commercial tenants include American Benefit, Baby Time, Beautiful You Massage, Hair Reflection, Harbor Paints, PCG Bookkeeping Tax Service and Service Abstract.

A nearly one-acre outlot on the property has the potential to attract a national retail tenant, according to Mr. Belin. He believes the project can tap into the retail growth the city is experiencing, and offer an economical alternative to some of the brand new developments coming on the market.

KAJAT plans to file site development plans for the C-2 commercial-zoned property with the city in the next few months, Mr. Belin said, but does not have a firm project timetable for completion.

KAJAT acquired the property from a real estate limited partnership led by David Lubben. KAJAT Properties is a family-owned commercial real estate business that offers consulting and management services for investors and lenders throughout the United States.