The four homes will be moved or demolished to make way for the club’s expansion, which includes a 35-foot-tall indoor tennis facility. Three existing tennis courts will be removed and the current golf driving range will be extended, with hitting bays located closer to the vacated street.
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Country Club continues to work with the nonprofit Save CR Heritage in an effort to save several historic homes from demolition to make way for the club’s expansion project, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. The organization, which works to preserve historic buildings in the city, advocated for the club to save four homes that were slated to be demolished.
The Cedar Rapids City Council in June, with four of nine council members recusing themselves from the vote, approved the club’s plans to expand over seven residential lots, The Gazette reported. The council vacated the right of way to develop a tennis complex and courts, expand the parking lot and modify the driving range to boost amenities for members.
Plans called for a 35-foot-tall indoor tennis facility to be built at the north of the expanded site, The Gazette reported. Three existing tennis courts will be removed and the current golf driving range will be extended, with hitting bays located closer to the vacated street.
To advance the expansion plans, the council had to approve vacating public right of way on the vacated street and rezoning land from Suburban Residential Large Lot and Suburban Residential Low Single Unit districts to Public-Institutional, The Gazette reported. The rezoning brought the club’s entire campus into a single zoning district.
Landis Wiley, the club’s board treasurer, previously said the homes were mainly rentals that were already vacated in part because of 2020 derecho damage, The Gazette reported. The council and City Planning Commission backed the expansion plans despite opposition from some Country Club Heights residents who feared the expansion wouldn’t pair with the neighborhood’s historic character and would generate noise and light pollution and increased traffic in the area, among other concerns.
The privately owned club and Save CR Heritage have worked to find parties willing to help move the four homes, which were built around 1940, The Gazette reported. A fifth house was recently demolished. Save CR Heritage was not advocating to save that house.
“We’re hopeful,” said Cindy Hadish, who’s on the board of Save CR Heritage. “These are perfectly good homes in great shape.”
Hadish said there’s a huge amount of waste that goes into the landfill when a home is demolished, but people could use materials that are worth more today than they were when the homes were built, such as hardwood floors and stone, The Gazette reported. The process of moving homes is complex, she said, so the sooner people step forward, the better. It involves working with utility companies and often with a police escort while the house is moved.
Save CR Heritage board members, including a retired house mover, are able to offer advice on moving a house, The Gazette reported. The homes themselves are free, but the cost to move a home can include the move itself, building a new foundation, moving utility wires and trimming trees.
The biggest obstacle, Hadish said, is finding a vacant lot that’s appropriate, as many empty lots in the city’s core can’t be built on because of flood risk, The Gazette reported. Plus, houses can’t be moved across the Cedar River, so these houses would have to stay on the east side.
Tom Feller, the club’s General Manager, said in an e-mail the club would like to have the houses moved by May 1, 2023, The Gazette reported. A couple of individuals have expressed interest in moving them, but as of Oct. 12, Feller said he had not received confirmation from anyone.
The club and Save CR Heritage hope to move the houses or at least save valuable elements from inside the homes, Feller told The Gazette.
“Cindy and Save CR Heritage have been great to work with, and we hope someone comes forward that would like to relocate the houses,” Feller said.