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Old 04-21-2011, 11:34 PM
1,374 posts, read 2,245,265 times
Reputation: 1439


I have seen a lot of questions asking which areas of Cedar Rapids are good to live in and which to avoid, so I created this map that should clear up a lot of the confusion. It is based on both my observations and what I have read.

Green = wealthier, well-maintained neighborhoods
No color = average to nice neighborhoods
Orange = pockets of less desirable neighborhoods or apartment complexes
Red = Neighborhoods or apartment complexes that are best avoided
Yellow = typical extent of the smell from ADM that most complain about. Cedar Rapids' smell issues are overblown; most areas of the city don't have any smell.

Cedar Rapids is tilted at a 45 degree angle thanks to the river, so the city is generally divided into four quadrants (NW, NE, SW, SE). SE is the most diverse, with the wealthiest areas of the city and also the most troubled. Wellington Heights is the neighborhood directly east of downtown, and is usually considered to be the worst area in Cedar Rapids. 19th Street is the historical divider between troubled Wellington Heights and the more affluent Knollwood area. This area has a wide array of architecture, with many historic homes including the Brucemore Mansion.

The NE is the most expansive side of Cedar Rapids, generally a good bet and where the majority of apartments, shopping centers, and retail stores can be found. The suburb Marion is one of the fastest growing cities in the state. This area is home to Lindale Mall and Rockwell Collins' corporate HQ and main campus.

The NW is a small area that is generally very nice and characterized as being more secluded and hilly. Near the river and just NW of downtown is the neighborhood known as Time Check that was largely wiped out by the 2008 flood.

The SW is the industrial side of the city, with pockets of decent neighborhoods and other pockets that should be avoided. There are a number of seedy apartment complexes on the SW side. This is the other big retail side of Cedar Rapids, stretching along Edgewood Rd. It is also home to Hawkeye Downs racetrack and Kingston Stadium. Areas near the river and stretching over to I-380 were hit very hard by the flood and some still have not recovered.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:56 PM
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 1,896,287 times
Reputation: 377
That's a idea for a map, thanks for sharing.

Personally, I think the red needs to be expanded to cover more of the near-river areas that are close to or smattered against industrial, including many of the flooded out areas. I'll concede that these areas don't experience the crime problems of Wellington Heights, but they're far from most people's comfort levels of what "is a good area to live in".

I remember being in some neighborhoods that had houses in pretty poor shape that aren't shaded on this map.

As an aside, I got to check out the hilly areas in the NW side of the city near Usher's Ferry and couldn't help but think what a beautiful part of the city that was. Seemed close enough to Hiawatha/Center Point Road that it wasn't too isolated from shopping, etc.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:52 AM
414 posts, read 976,156 times
Reputation: 198
Interesting and that clears up! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:19 PM
2 posts, read 10,454 times
Reputation: 10
If I was to rent a house on C ave near Coe, is that a dangerous or not so good neighborhood? Should I look for something else?
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:55 PM
16 posts, read 42,022 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by adrianae View Post
If I was to rent a house on C ave near Coe, is that a dangerous or not so good neighborhood? Should I look for something else?
Anything near Coe is not a good area. Unless you're attending school there, I wouldn't live near there.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:32 PM
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,354,449 times
Reputation: 1576
I'd say the worse smells in the city come from the sh_t plant that sits on the west side of Hwy 13 near Bertram. I never thought the corn plant or cereal plants were that bad. I would say the green area is only east of Forest Dr. SE. It shold also include areas of Robins which have several developments of 1/2 mil dollar homes.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:47 PM
349 posts, read 207,753 times
Reputation: 61
There's some nice work started on the area on the primary part of this website:


but it clearly needs a lot of work, since most of the city is full of blank space!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:27 AM
3,493 posts, read 4,691,426 times
Reputation: 5354
Awesome map. You good sir, are doing a great service for people there.

I would've expanded the yellow a bit as I tended to smell it on the north side of 30.

West of 380 and south of the river you can drop a huge chunk of red. I ran a retail business with locations there and it had more crime than our other 80 locations combined. This is between 1st and south 16th west of 380.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:07 AM
60 posts, read 58,570 times
Reputation: 53
Generally the map is OK for the best and worst neighborhoods. Interesting that Stony Point is totally ignored even though there are many high property-value homes in that sub-division that are on par with the section you highlighted in Marion.

I think a property value map would be less subjective and communicate more accurately what you're trying to say. A crime map might also be good, even though crime is not a big issue in CR. There is already a map of sex offenders which is very revealing.

As far as ADM smells, it depends on the wind. With a typical westerly wind, ADM is almost never detectable. I live about 7 miles north of it close to the river. 2 or 3 times a year I can smell it a bit from my house.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:35 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,972 posts, read 5,421,837 times
Reputation: 9182
time to bump this map
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