City of Ottumwa Receives Grant for Downtown Apartment Project

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The city of Ottumwa was recently awarded a $300,000 Downtown Housing Grant, according to a Monday morning news release.

Officials state the grant comes from Iowa Economic Development Authority for the Capital Lofts Project.

The award is part of a special round of state and local fiscal recovery funding for projects included in the American Rescue Plan. The funds will support rehabilitating the second floor of the Capitol Theater building at 231 E Main to create four new apartment units. The total project cost is estimated at $1 million. Legacy Foundation, which owns the building will contribute $700,000 in private investment, the project will not require any City funding.

The Capitol Theater was built in 1920 and served as a hub for arts and entertainment. The building was purchased and remodeled by CEC Theaters along with the Capri Theater in 1985. The theatre closed its doors in 2004. The Legacy Foundation purchased the property in 2012 and has been pursuing its rehabilitation. According to the press release those efforts already exceed $1 million in improvements.

“We currently have 110 apartments in downtown Ottumwa and they are all rented. Downtown is quickly becoming a thriving neighborhood and that supports downtown retail and the city’s mission to build 500 new units of housing by 2030.”

Commumity Development Director Zach Simonson

The project is expected to start this summer.

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