It’s been rough going for the City of Oxford Junction as they’ve searched for someone to partner with them to rehabilitate an old building downtown.
The city was awarded a $100,000 Community Catalyst grant, made available through the Iowa Economic Development Agency, aimed at rejuvenating their downtown. Mayor Merle Tank said the city hopes to get a business to come in at 108 W. Broadway Street with apartments available to rent out above.
The building was a bank until about the 1960s, and still has the safe inside, before serving as the post office and a hair salon. It’s sat empty for the last number of years, with Tank estimating the building has been empty for approximately 15 years now.
Last year, the city received a $5,000 planning grant to reimburse them for engineering work for future work to be done on the building. At the meeting last May, where the council unanimously voted to accept the grant funds, the council also voted by a 3-2 margin to buy the building.
The city hired RDG Planning and Design to do the engineering last year and give the city a better grant for another shot at the greater grant.
The total estimated cost of the project is projected to be approximately $169,876, making the local match $69,876.
“We’re casting about for someone to partner with us and eventually own the building,” Tank said.
As part of the local match, Tank said the city is also accepting donations from citizens, which would be tax deductible.
The city opened the building up for tours Aug. 24 during the annual car show in hopes of garnering some interest but had no takers.
The city is also looking at investing in their sewer system as part of a capital improvement plan after a study of the pipes showed areas where work needed to be done.