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Tallcorn Towers, Iowa Wholesale renovations gear up

East end of Main Street to be steeped in construction come winter

November 20, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Downtown development was the topic of much of the Marshalltown City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night.

Michelle Spohnheimer, housing and community development director, said much is happening with the Tallcorn Towers renovation, and she expects that construction to run simultaneous to the Iowa Wholesale renovation.

"We are finally at those stages where we will finally see activity," she said.

Article Photos

Renovation on the Tallcorn Towers is set to get underway beginning in December. The construction, which will see completion in the fall of 2013, will restore the Second Avenue entryway, shown here Monday evening.

Both projects will renovate the existing buildings into low-income housing and are scheduled to see completion in 2013.

Spohnheimer said she wanted to show the public that plans such as the City Center Plan don't just sit on a shelf after they are developed. Investors have pumped more than $80 million into the downtown area since that plan's initialization in 2006, most of which is part of that plan.

Jim Deninger, of Marshalltown, lauded Spohnheimer's efforts.

"She has developed her department second to none," he said.

CommonBond Communities, the company renovating the Tallcorn Towers, is looking to have residents out of the building by the first or second week in December.

Because only 42 of Tallcorn Towers' 65 apartments are occupied, eligible residents will be able to return when construction is complete in the fall next year. The new Tallcorn Towers will contain 49 one-and-two-bedroom apartments.

The city is assisting Tallcorn Towers residents with relocation costs.

Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners LLC, the company developing the Iowa Wholesale building, is still waiting for the Iowa Finance Authority to approve tax credit applications for the project, but Spohnheimer said both projects would likely be going on at the same time.

"It will be a very active, busy corner down on Main Street," she said.

One of the biggest changes to the Tallcorn Towers will be the restoration of the building's original entrance on Second Avenue.

Spohnheimer said the company had originally hoped that resident relocation could be staggered, but the project's aggression made that impractical.

The city is collecting stories of the Tallcorn Towers. Anyone with a story about the building in the old days, such as events held in its ballroom, should call 641-754-5756.

"We are going to bring this building back to a little bit of its glory days," Spohnheimer said.



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