West Liberty Economic Area Development (WeLead), announced today, an award of $200,000 through the Iowa Economic Development
The Authority’s Downtown Housing grant program, which is a $20 Million program provides support for downtown revitalization through new housing opportunities in communities with populations of 30,000 or below.
The property to benefit from the grant can be found at 317 North Spencer Street in West Liberty.
The grant funding will be combined with the personal investment of property owners, Darren and Scott Brooke, and will transform a vacant historic downtown building into a vibrant commercial space on the ground floor and will have two three-bedroom apartments upstairs.
Built in the late 1800s, the structure was of the first brick buildings in West Liberty, and served as West liberty’s first auto garage.
Originally a one story building, a second floor was later added when the property was converted for use as a chick hatchery.
The Spencer Street property was also used as a retail space for many years, and housed apartments on the second floor before becoming abandoned and falling into a state of disrepair.
“This project is coming at the perfect time for our community,” said WeLead’s Executive Director, Ken Brooks. “West Liberty’s economy is booming, our storefront's are filled, our existing homes are at capacity, and local business and industry is expanding."
With the elevated material prices, we are grateful to the IEDA for this grant opportunity, as it makes this project financially feasible, and will bring critically needed housing and commercial space to West Liberty.”
WeLead’s announcement comes on the heals of West Liberty Food’s recent announcement of plans to expand their operations in West Liberty with a new state of the art $150 million plant in town.
WeLead is actively working with local property owners and developers for the creation of several housing developments in and around the City of West Liberty to accommodate the need created by the West Liberty Food’s expansion project ad the success of other West Liberty businesses and initiatives.