Marshalltown receives $500,000 downtown revitalization grant
Marshalltown Central Business District Executive Director Deb Millizer got tears in her eyes when she heard the news on Wednesday: the city had been awarded a $500,000 downtown revitalization grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
“This community has been through so much,” she said. “I just keep telling people that we’re on the cusp of some really awesome things coming downtown … when the community understands what’s going on, it’s going to give the community hope.”
Millizer wasn’t the only local official jumping for joy after the announcement was made. Mayor Joel Greer and City Administrator Jessica Kinser were just as excited about the prospect of restoring the facades of several landmark downtown buildings. Businesses including Staging 2 Sell It, Pentz Appliance, Marshall Tobacco and Vape Outlet, the Stepping Stones Christian Bookstore and Smokin’ G’s, will be restored back to their classic looks.
“I’m always pleasantly surprised when we get grants like this, but not as surprised as I would be if we didn’t have really good teams working on applying for the grants,” Greer said. “I want to do the happy dance for downtown because it means so much for those folks.”
The MCBD worked with Region 6 Resource Partners and RDG Planning and Design for about a year preparing to apply for the grant. With matching funds from the property owners, the Community Foundation of Marshall County, the Rebuild Marshalltown Fund and the City of Marshalltown, the total value of the project is estimated at approximately $1.25 million.
“This is huge,” Kinser said. “This definitely fits in line with the downtown master plan of trying to restore our facades.”
After the work is formally put out for bids, construction should start sometime in 2022 and be completed by 2024. As those involved in the grant process put it, the future looks incredibly bright in Marshalltown.
“We’ve been at this for four years. At the 10 year anniversary of the tornado, I think this city’s going to pop,” Greer said.
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255