In the fast lane
We’re proud to be running side-by-side with CRST to
bring new vitality to downtown Cedar Rapids. All of us
at Bankers Trust send our congratulations to CRST for
helping transport our community into the future. And
we look forward to passing you in the halls.
Bankers Trust is excited to bring expanded services
and new convenience to our loyal customers.
• Full-service 1st floor branch
• Street-level customer parking
• Drive-thru teller with ATM
221 Third Avenue SE 319-896-7777
400 Blairs Ferry Road NE 319-221-1230
A letter from Dyan and John Smith:
201 FIRST STREET SE
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA 52401
AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE
CORRIDOR BUSINESS JOURNAL
WRITER: JIM OFFNER
PHOTOGRAPHER: RYAN COMPANIES
DESIGNER: BECKY LYONS
MEDIA CONSULTANT: KELLY MEYER
As we celebrate the grand opening of CRST International’s
new headquarters in downtown Cedar Rapids, we reflect back
more than 60 years to CRST’s humble beginnings and our family
founders’ first headquarters—a $125 chicken coop.
It is with great gratitude and tremendous respect that we
dedicate this new, beautiful building to CRST’s founders and
John’s parents, Herald and Miriam Smith, for their extraordinary
vision to grow CRST into one of the nation’s largest trucking
companies and to foster Cedar Rapids’ growth and vitality along
Having been born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and having
raised our three children here, we are committed to the economic
prosperity of our community and hope our investment in this
new, $37 million building will inspire additional new growth and
development in our downtown.
We believe that a strong, vibrant downtown is important to
those who already live here, but it is also extremely important for
attracting a strong, talented workforce. As we’ve seen in other
areas around the country, younger professionals desire to live
and work in a cosmopolitan downtown—one that is thriving with
great restaurants, entertainment and the arts—which is another
significant passion of ours that we are pleased to continue to
As CRST continues to achieve record growth under the direction
of CRST International President and CEO Dave Rusch and his
leadership team, the grand opening of our headquarters could not
have come at a better time to accommodate our growing team of
We thank all the employees of CRST—the drivers, mechanics,
office personnel, supervisors and leadership team—whose
integrity, ingenuity and can-do spirit have made CRST International
an industry leader in growth and profitability. Our family is forever
grateful to these dedicated men and women, whom we are proud
to call the best in transportation.
We are also proud to welcome Bankers Trust, our anchor tenant
occupying the top two floors of the building and providing a
street-level full-service branch, as well as tenants RSM and Holmes
Murphy, to their new homes in our new building.
Putting together the financial pieces and partnerships to make
this building a reality involved many business, community and civic
leaders. We extend our heartfelt thanks to officials from the City
of Cedar Rapids and the State of Iowa for their assistance along
the way. And we cannot thank enough OPN Architects and Ryan
Companies for building us this striking statement of a building that
has forever changed the skyline of downtown Cedar Rapids.
We are excited to celebrate another significant milestone for
CRST and our family. We are proud to call Cedar Rapids our home
and the home of the headquarters for CRST International.
John and Dyan Smith
Smiths Get Set to Open CRST’s New Tower
John and Dyan Smith are about to christen their newest family heirloom – the
$37 million, 11-story corporate home of CRST International Inc. – in downtown
“We decided this would be an opportune time to develop a downtown
building that CRST and the city would be proud of,” said John, 67, chairman
and son of Herald and Miriam Smith, who started Cedar Rapids Steel
Transportation in 1955 out of a refurbished chicken coop they bought for $125.
“Smitty,” as Herald was called, convinced his customers he could save them
money by contracting with owner/operators who were hauling livestock to
Chicago to return to the Cedar Rapids area with loads of steel instead of
empty trucks, according to the company website.
CRST ultimately evolved from a trucking firm into a major transportation/
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
Herald Smith died in July 2015, but he lived long enough to see the new tower
rise, John said.
“His dad was really pleased; he was very much looking forward to seeing this
building completed,” said Dyan, 66, who also serves on the company’s board.
The Cedar Rapids-headquartered company, which has spread to locations in
Alabama, Indiana, California, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas and
Oklahoma, has 5,500 employees, as well as over 2,400 owner/operators, for a
total of 7,900 stakeholders in CRST, John said.
The company pondered expansion of its existing campus on the southwest
side of Cedar Rapids, as well as sites south of town, near the airport. Based on
studies, the downtown site made the most sense.
In 2012, the decision was made to build downtown, John said.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Congratulations on constructing a beautiful building
for CRST headquarters and other area businesses to
We commend you on driving our community, state and nation in
Transportation Solutions and Comprehensive Logistics. We are proud
to sit along side you on your journey.
The Smith family tasked OPN
with creating a “statement
building” that would dramatically
change the Cedar Rapids skyline.
The original renderings are
Flood wall design looking north.
Looking west during the day.
Looking north at night.
101 T&K Drive, Ely
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
The couple was involved in every phase of the process.
“When the opportunity came to build downtown, I knew we wanted
to build something that was contemporary and would appeal to the
people of Cedar Rapids,” Dyan said.
Dyan worked closely with Cedar Rapids-based project designer OPN
“That’s why we have the modern glass facing the river with the view,
to be seen by people coming into downtown, and the brick facing
downtown, as a nod to what was more traditional,” Dyan said.
The new project makes a statement about the success CRST has
enjoyed over the years, which is an image they believe is critical to
attracting new, young talent into the industry and community, John said.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
You see possibility.
We see you.
When you are ready to plan for the future, spend some time with
our online financial tools and resources that are designed to help
you work toward your goals. Start your journey with us – we are
here to support you. financialgenius.usbank.com
U.S. Bank is proud to welcome CRST to their new downtown
Cedar Rapids headquarters.
Visit one of our convenient area branch locations today!
Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. ©2016 U.S. Bank 4/16
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10
When the opportunity came to
build downtown, I knew we wanted
to build something that was
contemporary and would appeal to
the people of Cedar Rapids.
— Dyan Smith
Responsive | Reliable
CRST does anticipate growing
in its new home. The firm will
occupy two floors of the new
building, with a third floor
remaining for future expansion,
A family-owned business like
CRST can invest in its future with
nimbleness that perhaps a larger
corporate entity might not have,
“In terms of family business, I
think a family can make quicker
decisions for the long term and
not have to worry about quarterly
earnings like public companies
do,” he said. “There are
advantages to being private, and
we intend to stay private.”
Indeed, family is key to CRST’s
success, John said.
“Although the family is not
involved in running the day-today
business, we see our job
as ensuring that the vision and
principles that CRST was founded
upon by my father are carried out
in the future,” he said.
John credited a “professional
management” team led by
President and CEO David Rusch
for having kept the company on
“It’s key that the next
generation keeps active and
growing,” John said. n
We are proud to be a part of the
design and construction team for
the CRST Center!
Cedar Rapids, IA
(319) 366 8321
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IS PROUD TO ADD
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New CRST Center Evolves
as ‘Collaborative’ Effort
Structures like the new CRST Center don’t just go
up; they evolve, according to those who designed
and built the gleaming new $37 million, 11-story
waterfront tower in downtown Cedar Rapids.
Indeed, the original thinking didn’t involve a
new building at all, according to Marc Gullickson,
CEO/Midwest for Ryan Companies, the project’s
Company Chairman John Smith and his wife,
Dyan, who also serves on the board, were initially
interested in renovating and expanding the
company’s longtime headquarters on the southwest
side of town, Gullickson said.
“The project evolved over time to become a new
building,” he said. “Suburban and urban locations
were considered, but the Smiths were convinced
that if they were going to build new, they should
build downtown and be part of the post-flood
revitalization effort for the city.”
At that point, Ryan Companies took on more than
a contractor’s role, applying its development skills
to support such efforts as finding a site, developing
a project pro forma, negotiating issues with the city
and pursuing tax credits, Gullickson said.
“It has been great fun,” he said.
Cedar Rapids-based OPN Architects got the call
to design the building.
“When you have a company like CRST and
members of this community like John and Dyan
Smith who are making this kind of commitment to
this downtown and community, it’s very rewarding to
be associated with it,” said Dan Thies, CEO of OPN.
The excitement rose as the building concept took
shape, Thies said.
“I think in our world, the design process is always
very exciting and every project presents a new
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
CRST’s new employee break room located on the fifth floor of CRST Center.
CRST International and the Smith Family
on your new headquarters
You’ve been moving the community forward for over 60 years—building neighborhoods,
underwriting the arts, supporting local needs and fostering our economy.
Thank you for advancing Cedar Rapids downtown development.
We’re proud to call CRST International our long-standing client
and now, our neighbor.
CEDAR FALLS | CEDAR RAPIDS | DES MOINES | DUBUQUE | QUAD CITIES
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
set of elements for us to work on and solve in a
creative manner,” he said.
It’s a collaborative process, Thies noted.
Thies also noted that the Smiths were personally
involved in all design meetings.
“Very hands on, and certainly they were interested
in the CRST leadership understanding the building
and being excited about what will become home to
their administrative group,” Thies said.
The Smiths vetted physical models, 3-D analyses
and even materials going into the project, Thies
Dyan Smith, who acknowledged a passion for
building design, said she had a clear vision for the
“Since it’s on the river, I wanted it to have
sweeping views of the river,” she said.
That would be fitting, since the city has had an
intimate relationship with the Cedar River since its
founding, she said.
“I wanted lots of windows; I wanted the interior
to be as open as possible so each tenant coming in
could decide if they wanted open space or smaller
spaces or offices,” she said.
The new building has been a hive of activity
throughout the building process, Gullickson said.
“On a given day, there could be 200 people
on-site working,” he said, noting that about 25
subcontractors were involved.
Coordinating all that activity required “having a
good quarterback,” Gullickson noted.
“That is our job: Having a design partner that
is committed to working with us is essential, and
OPN has been terrific,” he said. “It is our job to
manage the schedule and coordinate the effort.”
That includes any unforeseen obstacles,
“Any job – and this project is certainly no
exception – will have hiccups,” he said. “Knowing
how to deal with the hiccups is essential. Everyone
has to work together to make a project like this
It’s always a pleasure
to recognize the
Proud to partner with
you on your new building.
Congratulations on the completion of the new CRST
Center. RSM looks forward to serving clients from this
new location beginning October 24, 2016.
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This fourth-floor office has views to the east.
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TRUCKING TO PROSPERITY:
CRST Could Ignite Other Projects
CRST International Inc.’s new 11-story tower
is more than the newest jewel adorning
downtown Cedar Rapids, according to economic
They see the $37 million office complex as
potentially being a key that could unlock untold
prosperity in the heart of the city’s business district.
“This building is one of many new projects
that showcase the progress and growth in Cedar
Rapids and our core district areas,” said Brian
Crowe, economic development strategist with the
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.
The new tower also symbolizes CRST’s evolution as
one of the area’s strongest enterprises, Crowe said.
“Since 1955, CRST has evolved from a trucking
firm to one of the nation’s leading providers
of transportation solutions, and this skylinetransforming
tower in downtown Cedar Rapids
shows their pride and confidence in locating their
headquarters here,” he said.
Confidence is crucial to growth, Crowe noted.
“By building and maintaining their headquarters
here in Cedar Rapids, CRST is showing their
confidence as one of the largest privately owned
transportation companies in the U.S., but also
their confidence in Cedar Rapids,” he said.
Crowe noted that the tower also will serve as fertile
ground for other local companies it will house.
“Obviously, we are all excited to see the
building completed, but it is extremely exciting
to know that three other major local tenants –
Bankers Trust, RSM International and Holmes
Murphy – will take occupancy in the new building
as well,” he said.
CRST has just cast a strong vote of faith in Cedar
Rapids and the Creative Corridor, Crowe said.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
WELCOME TO THE
John & Dyan Smith and Family
The fourth-floor boardroom, which overlooks the Cedar River, features a stretched fabric ceiling with LED lighting above
the conference table.
ON YOUR NEW BUILDING
Industrial - Commercial - Utility
Residential - Agricultural
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18
“The CRST Center and the many other new
projects underway in Cedar Rapids will continue to
add vibrancy and amenities while adding jobs and
capital investment to our city,” he said.
Dan Thies, CEO of Cedar Rapids-based OPN
Architects, which designed the riverfront tower,
noted that the building is the first privately
developed office building in downtown since the
Great America Building, which came online in the
“When a project like this comes along, I think
it’s a significant statement about the strength
and health and vibrancy of our community, the
economic stability of our community,” Thies said.
“It’s a heck of a statement for an important private
company to step forward and say they’re making
a commitment to downtown.”
CRST Chairman John Smith said development
could ignite other projects.
“You can never exactly know what projects are
going to spur growth, but all I can tell you is that
after we announced we were coming downtown,
you just keep hearing of new projects and that the
face of downtown is going to continue to change
in the next five years, and we’re just part of that,”
It could be the start of something big
downtown, Smith said.
“We’re not bringing our whole operations
downtown, but we’re bringing our corporate
headquarters downtown, and I think it spurs
people to think about it,” he said.
Opening the new headquarters downtown is
good for business across the Creative Corridor,
“Indirectly, I think the better Cedar Rapids does,
the better the Corridor does,” he said. “The
way Cedar Rapids is going to grow is to get our
downtown really sold and get people down there.
It’s a long-term project that never stops.” n
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The U-shaped outdoor terrace wraps around the fourth floor.
The new CRST Center is located at 201 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids.
For sixty years, we have been proud to
call CRST our partner and friend.
Congratulations on achieving an extraordinary vision.
115 3rd Street SE, Suite 1200 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 | 319.366.7641
1150 5th Street, Suite 170 | Coralville, IA 52241 | 319.354.1019