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Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements


Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements

Award Winning Projects, Entrepreneurs and Volunteers Honored

Main Street Iowa hosted the 31st annual Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration on Friday, April 7, 2017 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work day in and day out in downtown revitalization in Iowa. The event was attended by approximately 550 individuals representing communities across the state.

Uptown Marion received the following state awards and special recognitions:

David Martin, with Martin Gardner Architecture, received the Leadership Award for outstanding efforts to make a positive impact on the local Uptown Main Street Program. Dave Martin’s architectural firm has restored hundreds of buildings throughout Iowa. His professional experience and positive attitude have made him an extremely valuable volunteer and community leader. He co-owns the historic First National Bank building and his working on his fourth Downtown Revitalization Project. As an Uptown Marion Advisory Board member and Design Committee co-chair, Dave has shard solutions for the issues face by other building owners over the years.


The Linn County Main Street Programs Regional Partnership received the award for Best Outstanding Partners which includes Central City Mainstreet, Czech Village – New Bohemia, Mount Vernon – Lisbon Community Development Group, and Uptown Marion. This award recognized the collaborative efforts of the 4 Linn County Main Streets through a joint marketing project developed through Linn County funding.


Brooke Prouty (Uptown Director), Jill Ackerman (Chamber President), and Karen Hoyt (Board Member) represented the Uptown Marion Main Street at the awards ceremony.


Main Street Iowa has annually presented awards honoring outstanding accomplishments, activities and people that are making a difference in Iowa’s Main Street districts. Projects large and small are recognized and serve as outstanding examples of what historic commercial district revitalization is all about.


Fifteen projects and activities occurring in local Main Street communities were selected to be recognized from the 160 competitive nominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).


“The Main Street Iowa program has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985. The program continues to bring businesses, jobs, investment and vitality to our states’ communities, both big and small,” stated Branstad.  “The Main Street Approach works, and Main Street Iowa has been a national model because we are creative, we embrace change, we demand local initiative and action, while holding strong to our roots as an historic preservation program.”


“Healthy, historic commercial districts are a key deciding factor for industrial and business recruitment,” said Reynolds. “Since 1986, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy with 4,514 new businesses and a net gain of 13,402 jobs. More than 740 building projects have been reported with an investment in those rehabs of over $2 billion. Last year alone, the Main Street Iowa network surpassed 156,135 total documented hours of human capital invested into Iowa’s downtown revitalization efforts. This demonstrates a tremendous commitment to Iowa’s Main Streets.”


During the event, 10 communities were recognized for reaching significant benchmarks based on private dollar investments made in the purchase and revitalization of properties within their respective commercial districts. Centerville and Lansing were recognized for reaching the $1 million benchmark in the last year and Ft. Madison was honored for $2 million in local investment. Ames and Guthrie Center were recognized for achieving the $5 million level. Des Moines 6th Avenue, Chariton, Corning, State Center and Ottumwa all attained $10 million in local investment since being designated as local Main Street programs. Four communities were recognized for significant anniversaries. Osceola was recognized for 20 years of participation as a designated Main Street community. Cedar Falls, Spencer and West Des Moines were recognized for 30 year anniversaries.


Two special awards were presented as well. James Walsh received the Spirit of Main Street Award, an honor that recognizes the person, organization, community or project which best demonstrates the true meaning and spirit of “Main Street at Work.”  The community of Oskaloosa was honored with a Signature Project Award for their inspiring and innovative place-making efforts in beautification, promotion and partnership.


In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center’s Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.


For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit, e-mail [email protected] or call 515.725.3051.


A list of the awards presented during the ceremony follows.   Photographs will be posted at after April 17.





Local Main Street Program                                        Award Category                                                                          Winning Award Recipient


6th Avenue Corridor – Des Moines                               Best Exterior Rehabilitation                                                                   Franklin Apartments

Community Main Street – Cedar Falls                       Best Interior Rehabilitation                                                                      Historic Post Office

Main Street Manning – Manning                                 Best Interior Rehabiliation                                                                          The Market Place

Downtown Partners, Inc. – Burlington                        Best New / Infill Construction Project                                                         Hopefully Yours

Downtown Partners, Inc. – Burlington                        Best Total Building Rehabilitation                              Burlington Bent River Brewing Co.

Hamilton Hometowns –  Hamilton County              Excellent Event or Promotion                                              Hamilton Hometowns Hoopla

Chamber – Main Street – Sac City                              Excellent Event or Promotion                                                                 Moonlight Madness

Jefferson Matters:  Main Street – Jefferson               Greatest Game Changer                                                                         Empty Building Tour

Downtown Partners, Inc. – Burlington                        Outstanding Beautification Project                                      Burlington Lightscape Project

Main Street Cultural District – Ames                           Outstanding Business                                                                                                Café Diem

Jefferson Matters:  Main Street – Jefferson               Outstanding Business                                                                                   Home State Bank

Main Street Mount Pleasant – Mount Pleasant        Outstanding Fundraiser                                                                                   Pints in the Park

Main Street Corning – Corning                                     Outstanding Partner                                                                        Southwest Valley Schools

Main Street Programs – Cedar Rapids,                       Outstanding Partner                                                       Linn County Main Street Programs

Central City, Marion and Mount Vernon                                                                                                                                        Regional Partnership

Main Street Manning – Manning                                 Superior Marketing Efforts                                          Manning It’s Refreshing Campaign



Private dollars invested in commercial district rehabiltation and property acquistion in the designated Main Street districts since the programs’ inception.

$10 Million – Chariton, Corning, and Des Moines (6th Avenue Corridor), Ottumwa and State Center

$5 Million – Ames and Guthrie Center

$2 Million – Fort Madison

$1 Million – Centerville and Lansing



Special award honoring an outstanding nomination that rises above the traditional award categories in regards to impact and significance.

Community of Oskaloosa



Special award presented to a community or individual(s) that truly demonstrates the spirit of “Main Street at Work” in Iowa through innovation, support and commitment to economic development within the context of historic preservation.

James Walsh, JSA Development LLC, Waterloo



Special award that recognizes inspirational leadership and volunteers who make significant contributions to the local Main Street programs’ downtown revitalization mission.

Community                                                                Local Main Street Program                                                      Leadership Award Recipient

Ames                                                                             Main Street Cultural District                                                                      Stan & Tammy Hyer

Avoca                                                                                   Avoca Main Street                                                                                            Brent Hansen

Belle Plaine                                             Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation                                                               Dave Kramer

Bloomfield                                                                       Bloomfield Main Street                                                                                    Sabrina Lindley

Burlington                                                                       Downtown Partners, Inc.                                                                                    Gretchen Walls

Cedar Falls                                                                      Community Main Street                                                                                             Ty Kimble

Cedar Rapids                                                             Czech Village – New Bohemia                                                                                      Phillip Platz

Centerville                                                                        Main Street Centerville                                                                                           Ryan Stober

Chariton                                                              Chariton Area Chamber / Main Street                                                                                Jena Wiley

Charles City                                                                  Community Revitalization                                                                        Christopher Anthony

Colfax                                                                                  Colfax Main Street                                                                                                Joe Dvorak

Conrad                                                                      Conrad Chamber – Main Street                                                                                    Betty Haker

Corning                                                                                Main Street Corning                                                                                           Nancy Turner

Davenport                                                                        Hilltop Campus Village                                                                                        Kelly Wallace

Des Moines                                                                         6th Avenue Corridor                                                                                                   Bill Gray

Dubuque                                                                            Dubuque Main Street                                                                                            Gary Carner

Dunlap                                                             Dunlap Comm Development Corporation                                                                            Sue Nemitz

Elkader                                                                                Main Street Elkader                                                                             Keith & Kathy Garms

Fort Madison                                                                 Fort Madison Main Street                                                                                Conrad Hellman

Greenfield                                                               Greenfield Chamber / Main Street                                                                             Carol Woosley

Grundy Center                                                             Main Street Grundy Center                                                                                     Kristy Sawyer

Hamilton County                                                            Hamilton Hometowns                                                                                       Bruce Johnson

Hampton                                              Greater Franklin County Area Chamber of Commerce                                                     Charlane Janssen

Iowa Falls                                                               Iowa Falls Chamber / Main Street                                                                             Casey McNeal

Jefferson                                                                    Jefferson Matters: Main Street                                                                                 Nick Sorensen

Keokuk                                                                           Main Street Keokuk, Inc.                                                                Dan Long & Mike Klauser

Lansing                                                                                Main Street Matters                                                                                               Jana Schoh

Le Mars                                                               Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce                                                                           Jenny Kayser

Manning                                                                             Main Street Manning                                                                                              Jean Voege

Marion                                                                                    Uptown Marion                                                                                               David Martin

Marshalltown                                                    Marshalltown Central Business District                                                             Vic & Gayle Hellberg

Mason City                                                                     Main Street Mason City                                                                                      Lindsey James

Mount Pleasant                                                          Main Street Mount Pleasant                                                                             Ashley Lohmann

Mount Vernon                                        Mount Vernon / Lisbon Community Development                                                           Sonia Redmond

New Hampton                                                                New Horizons Chamber                                                                                         Dustin Lewis

Newton                                                                                Newton Main Street                                                                                        Danielle Rogers

Osceola                                                                     Osceola Chamber – Main Street                                                                               Victoria Manu

Oskaloosa                                                                         Main Street Oskaloosa                                                                                         Sherry Vavra

Ottumwa                                                                            Main Street Ottumwa                                                                                            Tricia Smith

Sac City                                                                            Chamber – Main Street                                                                                            Scott Bundt

Spencer                                                                                Spencer Main Street                                                                                            Lisa Petersen

State Center                                                       State Center Development Association                                                                          Buffi Honeck

Story City                                                         Story City Greater Chamber Connection                                                                  Shannon Hayden

Washington                                                                     Main Street Washington                                                                                   Karen Kuhlman

Waterloo                                                                            Main Street Waterloo                                                                                           Nick Hedrick

Waverly                                                                   Waverly Chamber of Commerce                                                                               Ryan Frerichs

West Branch                                               West Branch Community Development Group                                                                   Mike Quinlan

West Des Moines                                                 Historic Valley Junction Foundation                                                               Ila & Paula Plasencia

West Union                                                                      Main Street West Union                                                                                  Jane Blumhagen

Woodbine                                                                     Woodbine Main Street, Inc.                                                                                      Kathy Waite



Special award that recognizes inspirational leadership and volunteers who have made significant contibutions to the local Main Street programs’ downtown revitalization mission.

Community                                                                Local Main Street Program                                                                          Hero Recognition

Jefferson                                                                   Jefferson Matters:  Main Street                                                                                Kathy Hankel

Story City                                                         Story City Greater Chamber Connection                                                                               Rich Olive

West Branch                                               West Branch Community Development Group                                                                     Mary Jensen

Woodbine                                                                     Woodbine Main Street, Inc.                                                                                          Reid Clark


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