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Ready for restoration?

By Staff | Jan 3, 2014

In the interest of giving its reasons for buying and wanting to restore the former Sievert’s/J.C. Penney’s building at 12 S. Sixth St., the Estherville Industrial Development Corporation has provided information on the building project and associated costs.

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is helping EIDC in developing vacant second floor space in downtown Estherville. Entrepreneurs would use the space in startup and emerging technology and Internet-based businesses. The intent is to move away from trying to fill downtown buildings with the same businesses that have closed or failed in the past.

According to information provided by the EIDC, its first goal was to first rescue the South Sixth Street building and second to own and repurpose the building, using the second-floor neighborhood model the Corridor is promoting.

The EIDC bought the building for $17,340. Anticipated upgrade costs are:

n New roof and wall resurfacing – $136,000.

n West facade tuck pointing – $35,000.

n Tuck point 20 feet on north wall 2- $15,000.

n New entrance glass – $28,000.

n New windows – $20,000.

n Interior demolition – $20,000.

n Interior renovation – $82,660.

n Electric/HVAC/plumbing – $160,000.

The total $514,000 costs would be offset by:

n City of Estherville grant – $50,000.

n City of Estherville local option sales and service tax revenue – $389,000.

n Emmet County – $25,000.

n EIDC – $50,000.

According to the EIDC, the main floor was originally constructed as three separate store fronts but then opened up into one large single space which Penney’s occupied for decades.

The EIDC’s vision is that the south third of the main floor (22X100) becomes a single store front with its own access off South Sixth Street and to the alley in back.

The middle and north thirds (44X100) would feature several possible uses:

n A possible anchor tenant such as the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce.

n A community space, including private office spaces for the anchor tenant and other possible tenants, semi-private spaces such as conference room and restrooms, public spaces with welcome center reception area and other uses and second-floor access with a future elevator.

The second floor concept could include a community area with restrooms, kitchenette and copy room. There would also be private office space for each tenant, with additional floor space reserved for future use. The goal would be that the tenant could grow in place and not have to relocate to find a bigger space. There would also be semi-private spaces, such as extra office space and a conference room that tenants could reserve and use on an as-needed basis. There would also be leisure areas for tenants to relax, converse, strategize, collaborate, create and recreate.

The projected operating budget is $1,725 a month with income of $2,000 a month.

The EIDC cites the loss of the former depot, Elks and Grande Theatre buildings as motivation for wanting to save and restore the building.