More progress on downtown demolition

T-R File Photo

I started 2022 with the goal that all of the City-owned dangerous buildings Downtown would be demolished this year. It is December 1st as I write this, and 101 West Main Street is coming down. While these projects are not complete, I wanted to give you an update on where things are at and what the future looks like.

Before getting into the updates, I would like to thank the building and business owners — Stepping Stones, Vaughn’s Pub/Mobius Group, McGregor’s Furniture, and Main Street Antiques. None of this has been easy, as they have had fences up, streets closed, and noise and disturbances. They have all been great to work with and embody the Marshalltown Strong spirit!

Let’s start at the corner of Main and Center Streets. The demolition has been completed for a few months, but we will have some sidewalk repairs to do in 2023 when the weather allows. Work is also happening on providing a new exterior wall and rebuilding a new corner at 14 West Main Street (Stepping Stones). We will have some cleaning up of property lines and other things to take care of in the spring as well when all work is done. This site, along with the site at the corner of 1st Street and Main Street, was the focus of a community visioning project at Ridiculous Days, and we hope to be able to share the results in the very near future as we talk about what is next in Downtown!

101 W. Main St. is the last building to be demolished on our list. While the building will be down shortly, there will still be a lot of work to do. A retaining wall will be built next to the adjoining basement wall before any backfill can take place. We will also likely have some sidewalk repairs to make in the spring. McGregor’s Furniture will begin work on a new exterior wall in 2023 as well. Once all work has been completed on the site, the City is going to add some features to make a pocket park to give this site a use that can be transitioned easily. It is a small lot, but if someone would like to take on a new construction project, the City would consider it.

24 N. 1st Ave. came down a few months ago, and the backfilling of the site will be complete by the time this article publishes. The next steps here include a new exterior wall for Vaughn’s Pub in 2023. Once that work is complete, we will be surveying the site to create a new driveway into the City Center parking lot. The State Street project will close off one of the entrances/exits onto that street, so a new entrance/exit will help with the flow of traffic.

While we take care of punch list items in 2023, I think I can speak for everyone involved when I say we are just happy that the hard work is almost out of the way. Thank you to the Mayor and City Council for empowering me and our City team to do whatever was necessary to take care of the abandoned buildings Downtown following the tornado and derecho. If we were not all working together, I cannot imagine that we would be where we are today. We are Marshalltown Strong.


Jessica Kinser is the Marshalltown city administrator.


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