Fort Madison’s downtown district will receive a makeover this summer. The city received a $500,000 state grant to help pay for façade improvements for thirteen buildings.
The grant will cover 70% of the cost of the project with the building owners picking up the remaining 30%.
Fort Madison Main Street’s Executive Director Mary Ottoson says the façade improvements are currently in the design phase.
She says the project should go out for bid in early July. Each phase will be bid in a way that one contractor will handle all of the painting or masonry, for example.
Ottoson says that should result in better prices for the property owners. She says that is why some are putting more money into the project to take advantage of the state funding.
Ottoson hopes to see the façade improvements get underway in late July or early August.
UPPER STORY APARTMENTS
The downtown district could see even more activity if the Iowa Economic Development Authority comes through for Fort Madison.
France-Hobart is a development firm out of Cedar Rapids that is interesting in acquiring and renovating three buildings for upper-story living.
Ottoson says the firm wants to building nearly 50 apartments within 802 Avenue G, 601 Avenue G, and 702-712 Avenue G.
She says Main Street is seeking a 10-year forgivable loan worth $2-million for the firm. France-Hobart is also seeking state grants and historic tax credits for the $8 - $10-million project.