June 30, 2022 - The Ames Economic Development Commission is pleased to announce that both the City of Boone and City of Collins have received funding for Downtown renovation projects.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has awarded both cities with $100,000, respectively, for projects that will transform an underutilized building into new commercial and residential space.
Known as the News Republican Building, 812 Keeler Street has sat vacant for the past decade due to the building's current state of disrepair. This new project will renovate the first floor into two commercial spaces and create upper-story housing units.
"This grant is another positive step in our Downtown revitalization efforts," said John Slight, Mayor of Boone. "Pursuing this type of state funding will be vital for similar projects, and City support is a top priority for our local partners wanting to work with us. The timing of this project couldn’t be better as well for our partnership with Main Street Iowa and the Boone Chamber of Commerce as we near the application presentation on July 14. This project provides hard evidence that the long-term goal of our community is to develop a vibrant Downtown for generations to come."
Built in 1882, the building located at 214 Main Street in Collins represents one of the oldest structures still standing in town. This renovation project will transform a dilapidated space into ground-floor commercial space and an upstairs one-bedroom apartment.
"This grant is a wonderful opportunity for our Main Street revitalization efforts while supporting fantastic local entrepreneurs in their business expansion," said Brett Comegys, Mayor of Collins. "This state funding also allows us to showcase the great potential in Story County’s partnership efforts with rural communities like Collins, and we are excited to keep working together on future economic development projects."
The addition of office space on the ground floor will create the opportunity for one part-time employee for Gym-N-Eat Crickets, and 2-3 additional part and full-time employees for Beeler Lawn & Landscape.
“It is gratifying to see the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Catalyst Grant Program supporting these outstanding projects in our region," said Dan Culhane, President and CEO of the Ames Economic Development Commission. "These grant awards further validate what we believe are truly catalytic opportunities for the cities of Boone and Collins. It is always great to see people rehabilitating existing buildings and we certainly appreciate the investment it takes to make these projects happen.”
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