The makeover is underway

If you thought watching the building at 111 E. Lincoln Way that we call the Kendall Building was interesting, get ready for a show in our downtown.  

The Community Development Block Grant for Downtown Revitalization is kicking off this week. The past two years of planning for this large project will be put into motion.

Much of the planning has been behind the scenes, but the building owners know how much thought and decisions have brought us to this point. They are enthusiastically looking forward to the next steps.

The 13 buildings in this project are on all four sides of the Square, and east on Lincoln Way.

Starting on the east side of the Square, we have the vacant building of the former Treasure Chest, Doc’s Stadium and Ace Hardware.

On the north side, Meythaler Photography, Fudge’s Flowers and Gifts, and MacDonald Insurance are involved.

Over to the west side of the Square is Muir Embroidery, Masonic Hall, John’s Appliance and Royal Jewelers.

On the south side are Unger Insurance and Addie’s, and farther east on Lincoln Way will be the Greene County Historical Museum.

Each of the building owners decided back in the fall of 2015 to be involved in this project.

They met with architect Pete Franks, of Franks Design Group of Glenwood, Iowa, and his colleague, Matthew Miller, to begin the process of design.  

These were all black and white drawings and cost estimates that were sent in with the application.

The city council provided $250,000 for the match and the building owners the other $250,000 to match for the $500,000 grant that was awarded in May 2016.  

Since then, the building owners have met regularly with the architect to finalize their design plans for the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to approve them for this federal grant.

Remember that this project is focused on the value of historic preservation of the downtown.  

Once approved, the construction bids were sent out, with Pinnacle Construction of Glenwood being awarded this project.

Now entering June, when the actual construction will begin.  It will take about six months to complete all 13 buildings.  

How exciting it will be to see how this project makes an impact in our downtown.

All of the businesses will continue to be open during construction, so please support them with your business during this time.  

Each building owner is trying to make a positive impact on our downtown with this new look, and we should appreciate this as a community.

How can you help, other than continuing to support these businesses and thanking them for taking part in this? Every Wednesday will be designated “Whoop It Up Wednesday!”   

If you would like to provide homemade cookies, bars, popsicles or snack mix, along with water for about 20 construction workers, please email me at director@jeffersonmatters.org and we will select a date.  

Individuals, businesses, organizations, anyone can be involved in this. We will have a place to take these snacks for their morning break.

Let’s “Whoop It Up” each Wednesday as we move forward in Jefferson.

Peg Raney is program director of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. Contact her at director@jeffersonmatters.org or 515-386-3585.

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161