WEDNESDAY, OCT. 28, 2020 | IN THIS ISSUE

• New Amazon site owner hopes to sell for twice the price
• In the CBJ: Securion Advisors headed to CR's Auto Row
Home sales up in September despite dwindling supply
• Website connects displaced Iowans to rental vacancies
• KCRG: New program assists derecho victims with repairs
• Corridor events, KCRG-TV9 headlines and First Alert Forecast
New Amazon site owner hopes to sell for twice the price
Less than a year after it acquired the Iowa City warehouse that is now home to an Amazon last-mile delivery center, new owners Tamshazon LLC have put the property up for sale – at nearly twice the price.

The business entity created by California-based Cardinal Industrial purchased the 2500 Heinz Road property in January for $13.4 million, or what was then about 165% of its 2019 assessed value of $8,116,130. A notation on the sales record at the time indicated the higher price for the 346,553-square-foot warehouse was the result of the “quality of tenant and lease (Amazon).”

Ten months later, the property is back on the market, this time for $22.9 million – a 71% jump – with sellers touting a long-term lease with “Big Four” company Amazon and $12-$15 million in capital improvements by the Seattle-based e-tailer. Amazon launched Iowa City operations this spring delivering to Eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and parts of Wisconsin.

Seller Cardinal Industrial bills itself on LinkedIn as an investor “on behalf of high net-worth individuals, professional athletes and coaches,” and, according to its website, holds $1.8 billion in assets under management encompassing 29 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space across 24 states.

Amazon commenced its 65-month lease in October 2019, according to Calabasas, California-based Lee & Associates, which is marketing the property. Amazon has committed to 2% annual rent increases and two five-year renewal options, and is required to reimburse owners for taxes, insurance and building maintenance.

“The landlord has minimal maintenance responsibilities on the asset, providing an investor with a true passive investment grade credit income stream,” Lee & Associates said on a website dedicated to the property, which also highlights the facility’s strategic location and 37.5 acre site with expansion potential.

Improvements made by Amazon since leasing the warehouse include a 15,000-square-foot office expansion, a new 3,500-square-foot training room, concrete ramps, LED lights, power upgrades, new drive-in bay doors, a 25-year roof and air conditioning units

The new Amazon delivery hub was originally built in 1971 as a build to suit facility for Heinz and was later occupied by Procter & Gamble.
In the CBJ: Securian Advisors headed to CR's Auto Row
Securian Advisors MidAmerica has quietly grown from its Corridor base into a financial advisory firm of 60 people spread across 10 Midwestern cities, but its next move will bring it a higher profile in its hometown.

The firm’s impending move from Hiawatha to a historic commercial building across from Cedar Rapids’ Central Fire Station will provide room to grow and convenient client access from Interstate 380, while also continuing to improve the look of downtown Cedar Rapids, according to CEO Kyle Zimmerman.

Securian will occupy the second floor of a building that formerly housed Rapid Reproductions at 709 Second Ave. SE.

“It’s a great opportunity to design our own space, while contributing to the downtown Cedar Rapids aesthetics,” Mr. Zimmerman said. The exterior of the building will receive new windows and a brick stain to tie together the two colors of masonry, he said. The interior will be divided into new offices, a kitchen and a conference room, while keeping the open feel of high ceilings, exposed beams and wide window spaces.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed business at Securian, and if anything has increased it.

“The big thing is planning,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Most people just don’t have a plan, and this year there’s been a spotlight on what we do. People had to look at their plan, and some people just didn’t have one.” 

Read the full members-only story in this week's print or digital editions of the CBJ.

IMAGE: The planned renovation design of the former Rapid Reproductions building at 709 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. CREDIT: ASPECT ARCHITECTURE
Home sales up in September despite dwindling supply
September home sales surged in the Corridor and around the state compared to September 2019, according to data released by the Iowa Association of Realtors.

In the Cedar Rapids area, sales were up 3.4% with 274 closed sales and the Iowa City area saw a gain of 10.6% to 188 closed sales. Both areas saw homes selling for higher prices and faster than the same period last year, although inventory continues to shrink.

Homes in the Cedar Rapids area sold for a median price of $200,000, up 18.3% over last year. In the Iowa City area, the median price rose 5.6% to $261,250. Meanwhile, the average number of days on market decreased on both ends of the Corridor - down 8.3% to 33 days in the Cedar Rapids area and 1.6% and 63 days in the Iowa City area.

In the Cedar Rapids area, listings were down 61.8%, while in Iowa City, they were down 18.6%.

Pending sales of single family homes, condos and townhomes were up in September as well. In the Cedar Rapids area market, pending single family home sales rose 7.2% and pending townhome and condo sales were up 55.3%. Pending single family home sales in the Iowa City area were up 8.2% and pending townhome and condo sales were up 43.3%.

Sales were even brisker statewide, rising 16.2%.

"September's statistics look great in all categories, with the exception of inventory," said Iowa Association of Realtors President Scott Wendl in a release. "Even with so few homes on the market, it is still important to make sure your home is show-ready and priced accordingly. Homes are selling fast with multiple offers in many cases."
Website connects displaced Iowans to rental vacancies
State officials are highlighting a website offering Iowans in search of rental housing - including those who may be temporarily displaced due to natural disasters like the August derecho - a resource of up-to-date rental units with current vacancies.

IowaHousingSearch.org offers detailed listings of 56,000 housing units, including more than 2,200 immediately available units in the 27 counties declared disaster areas after the derecho.
 
“The IowaHousingSearch.org site is a powerful resource that provides a critical link between thousands of available rental units and the Iowans searching for them,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham in a release. “This tool becomes even more critical in providing real time information after a natural disaster that unfortunately may leave Iowans in need of immediate, temporary housing.”
 
IowaHousingSearch.org is supported by a toll-free, bilingual call center and is designed to give renters, landlords, housing professionals and social service providers access to detailed information about real-time rental housing vacancies.
 
The website was initially launched in 2014 and has grown to represent all types of rental units in Iowa, representing a current total of 740 unique landlords. Renters in search of housing or landlords interested in listing rental units may visit the site or call (877) 428-8844 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
The website also offers a free way for landlords to advertise properties through detailed listings that highlight amenities, special features, pictures, maps and extensive information about accessibility features and nearby amenities such as parks, schools and hospitals.
KCRG: New program assists derecho victims with repairs
A new program is now available to help residents of Linn County fix their storm damaged homes or make them livable this winter.

News partner KCRG-TV9 reports the program, Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners (PATCH), is the work of the United Way of East Central Iowa, Alliant Energy Foundation and Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

They’ll be awarding grants to PATCH to assist nonprofits that are working to address housing needs for residents of Linn County still dealing with the damage left by the derecho.

“We have a significant and immediate need for home repairs,” said Les Garner, president & CEO of the Community Foundation. “We also have local organizations that are equipped to address these concerns and we’re working together to get the resources where they are needed.”

Matthew 25 is coordinating the repair work, HACAP and Iowa Legal Aid will help with FEMA applications, and insurance claims, among other legal needs.

Residents can contact Waypoint at (319) 366-7999 to gain access to the program. Find more information about the program here.

Anyone interested in volunteering or contracting with PATCH can contact Matthew 25 at (319) 362-2214.

IMAGE: The new PATCH program will help Linn County residents repair derecho damage like destroyed roofs. CREDIT KCRG
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Corridor Stocks
Short Term Event Planner
 
Oct. 29 
Good Morning, Cedar Rapids!, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9 a.m., online. This annual event will celebrate unique, locally owned businesses and community leaders on their successes. Cost: $20. To register, visit bit.ly/33B7Fgj.
 
Prepare to Serve Your Clients for Year-End, by CLA, 10 a.m.-noon, online. Recognize year-end tax planning strategies, gain Paycheck Protection Program insights and discuss payroll tax deferral opportunities. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2I7i3Eg.
 
Six Steps to a Better Business, by SCORE of East Central Iowa, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., online. Learn the six steps needed to build a successful business. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/3lKxi4s.
 
New Supervisory Committee Requirements for Credit Unions, by CLA, 10-11 a.m., online. The National Credit Union Administration has adopted new audit requirements for supervisory committees. This session reviews these new requirements and how it impacts all credit unions. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/34iR2WX.
 
Oct. 30
Professional Development Day, by Project Management Institute of Eastern Iowa, 7:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m., online. Enhance your project management skills and knowledge during this one-day program. The theme is Managing Changes to Deliver Solutions. Cost: $179 members, $209 non-members. To register, visit pmieasterniowa.org.
 
Nov. 3 
Women of Influence, by Corridor Business Journal, 6-8 p.m., online. The Women of Influence award is given to women who have made a difference in the Corridor as role models and leaders in their fields and community. Free. For more information or to register, visit corridorbusiness.com/events/ or contact Ashley Moore at ashley@corridorbusiness.com.
Headlines from KCRG-TV9
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9 
 
Theresa Greenfield is putting her RV tour on hold after members of her campaign came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This includes her events today. In a statement, Greenfield’s campaign said she gets tested for the virus regularly, and tested negative recently. However, she will be tested again just to be safe. See the full statement here.

The state reported another record high number of hospitalizations on Wednesday at 596 patients. There were 113 patients admitted in the last 24 hours with the virus. Of the patients, 136 are in ICU and 51 are on ventilators. The Iowa Department of Health reported 1,814 more COVID-19 cases and 22 additional COVID-19 related deaths over the last 24 hours. As of 10:30 a.m. today, the state’s data is showing a total of 119,444 COVID-19 cases and 1,680 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began. A total of 5,141 tests were reported to have been conducted over the last 24 hours, making the total number of tests conducted 949,136 since the pandemic began. The positivity rate over the last 24-hour reporting period was 35.3%t. The state reported Tuesday that about 34% of total inpatient beds were still available, and about 79% of ventilators were still available. Gov. Reynolds said the state is monitoring hospital staffing numbers very carefully.

These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Today is the bright spot of the week with sunny conditions and highs in the lower 50s for much of the area. The layer of clouds that arrives later this afternoon is a sign of a storm system passing well to our south. While we won’t get any precipitation from that, clouds will thicken tonight into Thursday morning and the wind will blow from the north. Plan on a cooler day tomorrow as highs struggle to get back into the 40s.