Former Transamerica site sold in auction

Details currently unavailable, including sale price and new owner

Former Transamerica site sold
The former Transamerica site in northeast Cedar Rapids is seen Nov. 16, 2021. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

The former Transamerica site in northeast Cedar Rapids has been sold, following a three-day online auction that closed Wednesday, June 22.

Andrea Delgato, an asset manager for Ten-X of Irvine California, which conducted the online auction, confirmed that the former Transamerica site was sold. However, she declined to provide additional information, citing confidentiality protocols – information such as the property’s sale price, the buyer, or any future plans for the property.

Mike Esker of Coldwell Banker, the local real estate firm listing the property for sale, also said he couldn’t yet comment on the sale. The online auction is listed as closed, with a notation indicating the property is “in escrow” and further details would be made available once the escrow is closed.

The site was listed with an opening bid and an unspecified reserve price, but the fact that it’s been sold indicates that reserve was met.

The 51-acre site at 4415 N. River Blvd. NE, northwest of the intersection of Edgewood Road and 42nd Street NE, is currently owned by Transamerica, and was largely vacated when Transamerica moved its Cedar Rapids operations to the former Hibu site in southwest Cedar Rapids, a process that began in 2016 and continued gradually for several years thereafter.

Transamerica site demolition
Crews from DW Zinser of Walford continue working on the demolition of former Transamerica buildings in northeast Cedar Rapids Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

A number of older buildings on the River Boulevard property were demolished in 2021, but three structures remain, including a pair of 100,000-square-foot Class A office buildings, constructed in 1994, and a 14,000-square-foot former daycare facility. The property was listed for sale in March 2021, but surrounded by a chain link fence, it has sat essentially vacant for the past year.

The property was under contract to purchase on two occasions in the past year – first by Hunter Companies, then by Edgewood West, a group of local investors. The deals fell through on both occasions.

The auction process offered a number of advantages to make a sale more likely, Mr. Esker previously noted.

“By using the accelerated marketing and closing process, the sellers are provided all the due diligence, material and access to the property on the front end,” he noted. “The buyers can look at the property and have all the information that’s in the document library on the 10–X platform, so they can make a decision to proceed or not at the time of the auction.”

The accelerated arrangement offers potential closing on the property as soon as the end of July, Mr. Esker said.

The property is zoned for flexible development, including commercial offices, retail, residential, parks, walking trails and sports courts. It’s likely the new buyer’s development plans will include a mix of retail, office and single-family or multi-family residential components, Mr. Esker said.

“Potential buyers have brought a lot of great creative ideas and thoughts about repurposing those buildings, maybe keeping some of them for office use,” Mr. Esker said. “You’ve got a beautiful chunk of ground land out there, a lot of flexibility. It’s really going to be a pretty cool mix. Most of the buyers have been pretty excited, when they get a chance to see it and learn a little bit more about the location and all the possibilities the property holds.”

Since the property was listed for sale, a group of local property owners near the site have voiced interest in the plans for the site, including attending rezoning meetings for the site. They’ve organized a Facebook group and continue to seek input from area residents.