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Uptown Marion Awarded $55K Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant for Cobban-Hervey Building

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded Uptown Marion – A Main Street Iowa District a $55,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge for the Cobban-Hervey Building. Located at 1138 and 1144 7th Avenue, the Cobban-Hervey Building will undergo a complete restoration of its front façade and renovation of its underutilized upper-story floor to create three market-rate apartments. Commercial developer and building owner, Frantz Community Investors, joined representatives from Uptown Marion to accept the award in Des Moines. Thirteen other Main Street Iowa Communities also received grants.

“The Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “These projects represent the ongoing commitment the people of our state – both elected officials and private citizens – have to the revitalization of our historic downtown districts. Rehabilitated buildings create opportunities for new business in Iowa communities, and new businesses mean new jobs.”

The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of the fourteen projects is over $8 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” explained Main Street Iowa State Coordinator Michael Wagler. “Overall, these projects will leverage eight times the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. These projects will have a significant economic impact within each district.”

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Since the first appropriation in 2002 through 2014, approximately $5.9 million in state and federal funds have leveraged over $37 million in private reinvestment in 110 projects in 43 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.

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