Ottumwa Awarded $500,000 Grant for Downtown Housing Initiative
Friday, June 15, 2018
OTTUMWA-The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently awarded Ottumwa a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through an Upper Story Housing Pilot Program.
Grant funds will be used to develop five new rental housing units in downtown Ottumwa through the rehabilitation of vacant second stories of four buildings owned by Rippling Waters Property Development. The result of this work will be the transformation several previously underutilized and neglected buildings located in the 300 Block of East Main Street. The project will further efforts to provide quality housing near community services, public transportation, employment areas, food, shopping, recreation, and entertainment opportunities.
Other recent upper story projects downtown have shown the interest in downtown living. The 22 upper-story units developed as part of a previous project completed in 2016 proved very successful. “We have created 41 new upper story apartment units downtown since becoming a Main Street community in 2006”, said Fred Zesiger, director of Main Street Ottumwa, “There has been little to no vacancy among these apartments, and demand for high-quality housing in downtown continues to grow.” The grant, received through the City of Ottumwa with their support of $25,000 in matching funds, will be administered by Area 15 Regional Planning Commission. Renovation work is slated to begin this summer and conclude by early next year.