The City of Ottumwa has been awarded a $300,000 Downtown Housing Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for the Capitol Lofts Project.

The award is part of a special round of state and local fiscal recovery funding for projects included in the American Rescue Plan. The funds will support rehabilitating the second floor of the Capitol Theater building at 231 E Main to create four new apartment units. The total project cost is estimated at $1 million. Legacy Foundation, which owns the building will contribute $700,000 in private investment, the project will not require any City funding.

“It will be so rewarding to bring this historic building to life once again while simultaneously offering the community additional housing solutions,” said Kelly Genners, President and CEO of the Legacy Foundation.

“We currently have 110 apartments in downtown Ottumwa and they are all rented,” said Community Development Director Zach Simonson. “Downtown is quickly becoming a thriving neighborhood and that supports downtown retail and the city’s mission to build 500 new units of housing by 2030.”

The Capitol Theater stands at the corner of Main Street and Green Street. Built around 1920, the theater continued providing arts and entertainment when it was purchased and remodeled by CEC Theaters along with the Capri Theater in 1985. Unfortunately, the curtain finally closed for the theater in 2004. The Legacy Foundation purchased the property in 2012 and has been pursuing its rehabilitation. Those efforts, which already exceed $1 million, include the award-winning 2017 façade improvements.

The project will begin this summer.

The Press Release was written by City of Ottumwa Community Development Director Zach Simonson.