Downtown Building Revitalization

Revitalization

Downtown is the heart of any community and this is no different in Pleasantville. Much of the public feedback focused their efforts on how to best revitalize the buildings around the square. Recent closure of the grocery store (105 Monroe W) and the former People’s Bank (102 Washington N) moving to its new facility has left a large portion of central business district vacant. Unfortunately, these spaces need substantial reinvestment and renovation to bring them up to code and make them marketable to a prospective business.

Improvements

Throughout this process, a handful of prospective buyers toured one or both of these buildings. Each business owner had visions of what these buildings could become but could not see a clear path toward this goal. In order to realize the redevelopment of these properties, it is proposed that incremental improvements be made through various state grants and low-interest loan programs to prepare the properties for a business.

Pleasantville Downtown Grocery (Vacant)

Incremental Improvements

These programs are listed below in the order in which each should be applied to the include:

IDNR Derelict Building Grant Program

The program provides technical assistance resources (i.e. asbestos inspections, structural), removal/disposal funds for asbestos, environmental assessments, deconstruction funds (up to $50,000), and building renovation funds (up to $50,000). For more details, visit their website, or read the brochure.

IEDA Nuisance/Abandoned Property Remediation Program

The program provides low interest, short-term loans to municipalities of any size to remediate and rehabilitate or demolish and clear a commercial, residential, industrial, or institutional structures. Currently have $2.6 million in available funds to be obligated. For more detail, click here.

IEDA Community Catalyst Building Remediation

The program assists communities with the redevelopment, rehabilitation or deconstruction of buildings to stimulate economic growth or reinvestment in the community with a maximum grant of $100,000 per project. For more detail, click here.

Historic Tax Credits

Tax credits and exemptions are available to encourage the reuse of historic properties, while retaining historic character-defining features. Iowa’s program provide a tax credit up to 25% of qualified rehabilitation expenses and while the Federal provides up to 20%. For example, a project with $1 million in qualified rehabilitation expenses could provide up to $250,000 (i.e. 25%) in state tax credits and $200,000 (20%) in federal tax credits. For more detail, click here.

Pleasantville Downtown Square 2

The Action Steps

ACTION

Discuss ownership strategy for each of the buildings.

WHO

City, Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Economic Development, People’s Bank (property owner), Knoxville Hospital (property owner), potential buyers (individual and/or investors), reps from IDNR, IEDA

HOW

The grocery store (105 Monroe W) is currently owned by the People’s Bank and the former People’s Bank (102 Washington N) was gifted to the Knoxville Hospital. It is preferred that both properties transferred ownership to another party in order to take full advantage of these programs. Review the programs to determine pros and cons of ownership by the City versus a private owner. For example, the IEDA Community Catalyst Building Remediation program prefers the property in question to be privately held (i.e. not owned by the municipality) while the IDNR Derelict Building Grant Program require the property to be publicly owned (i.e. owned by the municipality).

WHEN

January/February 2020

FUNDS

ACTION

Identify specific needs for each building and align with each funding program.

WHO

City, Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Economic Development, People’s Bank (property owner), Knoxville Hospital (property owner), potential buyers (individual and/or investors), reps from IDNR, IEDA

HOW

During the ownership conversation, review these funding programs. The programs identified are laid out in the order in which they should be utilized. The IDNR program can help with technical support and removal of hazardous materials. IEDA’s Nuisance/Abandoned Property program could be a good resource for low-interest low to finance improvements. The IEDA Community Catalyst program would provide a $100,000 grant toward these renovations along with Historic Tax Credits to help reduce the financial liability to the property owners.

WHEN

January/February 2020

FUNDS

ACTION

Apply for funds through prescribed programs.

WHO

City, Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Economic Development, People’s Bank (property owner), Knoxville Hospital (property owner), potential buyers (individual and/or investors), reps from IDNR, IEDA

HOW

Whomever is identified as the potential property owner should lead this effort with support for the other partners as identified above. Review the funding resource guide in Appendix C to better understand application deadlines and awards.

WHEN

March/April 2020

FUNDS

NEXT STEPS

Find developer/investor and contractor to build out space

Apply for historic site status for properties in order to apply for state and federal historic tax credits

Identify potential tenant businesses for each location (i.e. coworking space, co-op grocery store, pharmacy, fitness center)

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