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Uptown Marion Development

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)–Take a walk down Main Street and you’ll notice several storefronts are empty.

“We can always use more restaurants and retail shops,” Uptown Marion Main Street District Director Ashley Zierath said.

But Uptown Marion Director, Ashley Zierath, said store turnover is hiding the growth that’s taking place along 7th Avenue.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last couple years. Some of the new businesses that have come in to our district have been wonderful. We’re really excited where Marion is heading.”

Zierath said there’s been a strong interest in the vacant spots, because business owners know they’ll be transforming their alleys into a place for people to enjoy public art.

They’ve also received another grant to renovate a space on Main Street.

“There’s success in Uptown Marion, there’s going to be some turnover, there’s going to be some change but that brings an opportunity,” Jodi Siamis said.

Jodi Siamis is the owner of Capital Commercial Division which owns the O Block building.

It houses Maid-Rite which was just recently renovated for their 30th anniversary.

But down the street, they learned what it’s like being a part of the Uptown Marion family.

“We also have the 1204 building that has had a setback, but we’re looking to finish that project in 2016,” she said.

The building’s frame collapsed during construction and they had to start from scratch.

But they’re moving forward with the project and excited to welcome “Riley’s” and “The Local” restaurants by the end of the year.

“We know Uptown Marion is continuing to grow and continuing to bring a different kind of dining experience,” Siamis said.

And a new Marion Square, where families, couples and friends, can spend the day shopping or grab a glass of wine at night.

“There is so many fun things going on, this is the place to be,” Siamis said.

Starting this spring, you’ll see a lot of construction in Uptown Marion but Zierath said it won’t cause traffic delays or concerns for drivers.

They’re also hosting a commercial real estate showcase in February if anyone is interested in bringing their business here.

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