Cedar Rapids Could Be Home to Massive Toyota Plant
Two weeks ago, we learned that Iowa was one of 11 states in the running for a new Toyota plant. There were several possible spots identified in Iowa, but it certainly appears Cedar Rapids is the top choice.
The $1.6 billion plant, expected to create 4,000 jobs, will build Toyota Corolla's and could be built in Cedar Rapids' 1300-acre Big Cedar Industrial Center, along Edgewood Road and 60th Ave. SW. The area is located south of Highway 30 and north of the Eastern Iowa Airport.
Toyota requires a 1,000-acre area for the new plant and the Cedar Rapids site is the only one in Iowa that meets the criteria. Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz told the Des Moines Register, "The Cedar Rapids site offers the needed space, utilities, infrastructure, and transportation access to serve a large industrial project of this kind."
Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director, agrees. She describes the Big Cedar Industrial Center as "a great candidate." Last year, she told the Cedar Rapids Gazette,
I think the best and highest uses for that land from the standpoint of capital investment and employee base would be advanced manufacturing — some kind of auto assembly plant — and warehouse/distribution. I think that’s what we should be targeting strategically for that area.”
The factory will open in 2021. Hopefully, in Cedar Rapids.