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Uptown Marion Awarded $75K Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant for Monuments Building

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded Uptown Marion – A Main Street Iowa District a $75,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant for the Monuments Building. Located at 743 10th Street Marion, the Monuments Building has long been in the shadow of the iconic Owen/Maid-rite building. At the entrance to the award winning Uptown Artway, the building as it stands does not measure up to the aesthetics of the area and has sat vacant a couple years. Renovations to the Monuments building include a full façade rehabilitation to the font, side, and rear of the building as well as an internal build out for a new unique business for Uptown, Frydae; a family-friendly street food and ice cream shop with a to-go window accessed from the Uptown Artway.

“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have been instrumental in revitalizing Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham. “Reinvesting in our traditional commercial districts is good business. It’s good for our economy and good for our state. These projects will bring new businesses and new residents to our downtown districts.”

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 these 14 projects is over $3.2 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” said Michael Wagler, state coordinator for the Main Street Iowa program. “In total, these projects will actually leverage significantly more than the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. This investment will have a significant economic impact within each district.”

Since the first Challenge Grants were awarded in 2002, approximately $11.6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $59 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 193 projects in 56 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.

For more information about the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program, contact Michael Wagler at 515.348.6184 or

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