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Tallcorn Towers’ rehab on track

November 7, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

The company poised to rehab Tallcorn Towers into low-income housing gave an update on the project to members of the Marshalltown City Council and public Tuesday afternoon.

CommonBond Communities, a developer of low-income housing, plans to start construction on the building in January 2013. The company will overhaul the 64-apartment spaces into 49 one-and-two-bedroom apartments.

A variety of sources, including historic grants and low-income housing tax credits, funded the more than $10 million project.

Article Photos

Cynthia Lee, with CommonBond Communities, explains to members of the council and the public how the renovation of Tallcorn Towers will change the entrance to the building, restoring its original entryways. The rehab of the building into low-income housing is scheduled to begin in January 2013.

Cynthia Lee, associate vice president of housing development, said the Iowa Finance Authority has approved all but a few minor details of the project and everything should be ready to go for the start of the year.

The building must remain low-income housing for at least 30 years.

Part of the rehab is also to provide residential services and secure the historical integrity of the building.

"A big part of our mission is to look at preservation," said Ellen Higgins, vice president of business development for CommonBond. "It takes a little vision to walk in and see what could be done with that property."

Lee said the types of people who move into the new apartments will determine which types of residential services the company will provide. If there is many youth, after school programs will develop. If many residents are seniors, the company will offer services to help them maintain their independence.

"The first thing we do in a community is a needs assessment," she said.

Randy Wetmore, city administrator, said the new Tallcorn Towers would be a great anchor for the east end of downtown Marshalltown.

Relocation specialists Pro Source will assist current residents with the cost of relocation while the building is closed during the roughly one-year construction. Lee said residents that wish to return would need to go through a screening process where CommonBond performs a background check, checking their rental and criminal histories.

The rehab will also look to make the building more energy efficient as well as restore the ballroom to its former splendor, she said.

Residents will be moved back in, floor by floor, as the crew completes construction.



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