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Pandemic slows, but not stops, construction

T-R photo by Thomas Nelson Construction crews work on Main Street in Marshalltown.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t halted growth in Marshalltown.

Construction season has begun as evident in downtown Marshalltown where crews are working on a variety of different structures. Some projects have been delayed by the pandemic but work is still planned to continue throughout the summer. 

“In general, some developers have indicated that COVID has had an impact on their projects,” said Michelle Spohnheimer City of Marshalltown Housing & Community Development Director. “We’ve still seen a lot of building activity taking place.”

The slowing of financing has postponed some projects, like the new location of the Flying Elbow. 

“It’s kind of a tricky situation,” said Garrett Goodman, Flying Elbow owner and operator. 

The pandemic has greatly impacted Goodman’s plans to open the Flying Elbow in its construction and how it will be reopened.

“It’s put back contractors. It’s put back the banks and the small business administration,” Goodman said. “In March everything grinded to halt.”

He plans to be in compliance with any new regulations that come out of the pandemic so he can open at some point in the fall. 

“It’s slowed it down,” Goodman said. “We were hoping to get started in early April with construction. It’s put us back almost two months.” 

Despite some of the setbacks, Goodman said the Flying Elbow’s new location will begin construction in June and hopefully open this fall. 

“It’s been a long couple years,” he said. “It’s been moving a long time, we’re definitely excited to get it going.” 

The Flying Elbow was a food truck based restaurant, until they moved into a location which was brought down by the 2018 tornado after only two months of operation. 

“The second we realized we weren’t going to be able to save our building we started planning for this new one,” Goodman said. “It takes a long time to get where you want to be.”

He’s applied for several grants to make the new Flying Elbow location a reality. 

“We’ve about “$313,000 total in grant money that came from the city,” Goodman said. “Our plans have changed since the first day we started working.” 

The Flying Elbow plans to go back to its roots this summer and offer truck side service. 

“We’re going to get our food truck out in June,” Goodman said. “People will have the opportunity to get some of our food this summer.” 

He’s ready with all the administrative logistics and has been putting the food truck back together. Goodman said the food truck should be out and about in the middle of June. 

Businesses like the Flying Elbow have experienced a large amount of support throughout the tornado and the pandemic. 

“We would’ve given up a long time ago if we didn’t have that support,” Goodman said. “This is our dream and we definitely want it back but it’s been a challenge.” 

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Contact Thomas Nelson at (641)753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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