City Receives $500,000 Grant For Main Street Apartments

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The City of Ottumwa has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the IEDA for an apartment project on Main Street.

According to a press release, Ottumwa has been awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for the planned upper-story apartments at 307 East Main Street. The funds are from a special round of CDBG money intended for projects in communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will facilitate converting the unused second floor space at 307 East Main Street (previously the Iowa State University Building) into three apartments. The total project cost is estimated at $604,000. The City will use the existing Downtown Development funds to provide a local match in the amount of $15,000. Rod Grooms of RG Property, the building’s owner, will contribute the balance of funds.

“This project will complete the transformation of this building which was once at risk of demolition. A previous owner had abandoned the property, forcing the City to go to court for the title. We sold the building to its current owners and the change has been remarkable.”

Zach Simonson, Community Development Director

The housing conversion grant will support developing one two-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments on the second floor. The building will be open for tours as part of Main Street Ottumwa’s Upstairs Downtown event from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. on Saturday, May 21st . Five additional downtown properties will be open to visitors as well. Tickets are available at Hotel Ottumwa for $10.

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