“This would be a catalyst for the entire community,” says Chris Deal, the local resident who put Jefferson on Pillar Technology’s radar. With its potential renovation of the century-old former IOOF building, Pillar would also bring an entirely new workplace culture to Greene County: The company’s Des Moines office boasts taps with local craft brews and an in-house chef. ANDREW McGINN | JEFFERSON HERALD

Jefferson wins state grant to rehab building for software firm

Staff report
Jefferson  has won the maximum amount possible — $100,000 — from the Iowa Economic Development Authority toward rehabilitation of the former IOOF building on East State Street to make way for a software development firm.

The city won the Community Catalyst Building Remediation grant Thursday from the state to help redevelop the century-old double-storefront at 204-206 E. State St., which is soon to be an office for Pillar Technology.

Pillar recently announced plans to open an office in downtown Jefferson to take advantage of computer students emerging from a regional career academy.

The move will be the first expansion into rural Iowa for the company with an office in Silicon Valley.

It will take $1.7 million to renovate the IOOF building just off the Square for use by Pillar.

As many as 30 jobs could be created locally by Pillar, with starting annual salaries between $55,000 and $60,000.

Pillar’s plans were contingent on approval this week of a $21.48 million school bond issue.

In all, 18 Iowa communities were awarded $1.8 million in building remediation grants  Thursday.

“These grants will be instrumental in the revitalization of communities statewide,” IEDA Director Debi Durham said in a statement.

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