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Estherville wins $100,000 Catalyst Grant

Fund will be used to rehab 700 Central Ave.

April 11, 2019
Amy H. Peterson (with Iowa Economic Development) - Staff Writer (apeterson@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

The city of Estherville has won a $100,000 grant to renovate the building at 700 Central Ave., across Central Ave. south of city hall. The 2019 Community Catalyst grants from Iowa Economic Development will be awarded tonight in Grinnell at the Rural Summit to 29 cities across Iowa.

The Community Catalyst program was initiated in 2018 by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to help create fundamental, positive change in Iowa's downtowns. The grants, $100,000 per community, assist with the redevelopment or rehabilitation of buildings to stimulate economic growth and reinvestment.

"The Community Catalyst program not only revitalizes main streets, but encourages further development and future growth for years to come," said Gov. Reynolds. "Empowering and investing in every Iowa community is critical for bringing success to all corners of the state."

"Each catalyst project is unique, inspiring different types of growth and development depending on the communities where they're located," said Lt. Gov. Gregg. "We appreciate the engagement of local leadership and the combination of public and private investment it takes to make the catalyst projects a reality."

For example, Coon Rapids plans to use its Catalyst funding to transform a former seed company building downtown. The community of 1,200 suffered a setback when the business moved out of town, leaving a half-block of vacant property in its wake. New training space for an industrial biotech company and upper story rentals in the space will restore community pride and provide fresh hope for workforce growth.

The community of Slater, which is home to 1,489 residents, will use its Catalyst grant to revitalize a main street building that has been vacant for 20 years. The future renovated property already has a potential buyer in a tech company that is proposing to add 25 new well-paid jobs. The project is expected to not only improve appearances downtown, but also generate excitement that high-tech is happening in small towns too.

Fact Box

Estherville gets $100,000 toward the estimated $433,500 cost to renovate the building at 700 Central Ave.

Estherville was one of the larger cities to win an award. Bancroft in Kossuth County, population 700, won a grant to convert s. Summit House to residential space. Spirit Lake won a grant to convert 802 Lake Street to apartments. Of the 29 communities awarded during the 2019 application round, 16 have populations of fewer than 1,500. Program rules require at least 40 percent of funds be awarded to cities with fewer than 1,500 people. The Catalyst Grants are awarded annually based on funding availability. IEDA awarded $1.8 million in grants to 18 cities in 2018. Emergency Catalyst grants have also been awarded to the communities of Anamosa, Vinton and Marshalltown since the program's inception.

The Estherville News will have more on this development in Monday's edition.

 
 
 

 

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