MSCR awarded $100,000 Challenge Grant
Challenge grant ceremony 2022 -
Posted on Thursday November 03, 2022
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded a $100,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants Main Street Coon Rapids to assist in the renovation of the Northside building.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded $934,430 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 10 communities around the state on November 2, 2022. The grants will benefit local improvement projects, such as historic building rehabilitation and upper story renovations.

Main Street Coon Rapids was one of the ten recipients and was awarded $100,00 to assist in the renovation of the Northside building at 511 Main Street in Coon Rapids.

511 Main Street was built in 1895 and while it housed retailers for the first 60 years of its life, it has been the home of Northside café and then bar since 1960. It is most notably known as the Northside Recreational Parlor. The two-story Romanesque commercial building still has much of its historic attributes, including cornice and parapet. However, the building sustained damage in 2018 when a fire destroyed the IOOF building next door. S&L Northside Rec., LLC (Bryan Spangler and Time Lee) purchased the building in 2021. The owners have a very ambitious plan to completely renovate the building from top to bottom.

The IEDA awarded a $100,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant to transform Northside’s first-floor bar into a high-end establishment. The transformation includes a new storefront façade and complete interior renovation. New restrooms, flooring, HVAC and electrical will be installed and the tin ceiling rehabilitated. The space will be reconfigured and an outdoor patio will be added to allow a better atmosphere for patrons.

In April of this year, the IEDA also awarded a $200,000 Downtown Housing grant and the City of Coon Rapids contributed $37,500 to fund renovation of two second-floor apartments, a new roof, repair of the east wall and new second story windows.

Main Street Iowa Challenge grants
"The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have been instrumental in revitalizing Iowa's historic main streets," said Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority. "Reinvesting in our traditional commercial districts is good business. It's good for our economy and good for our state. These projects will bring new businesses and new residents to our downtown districts."

The grants are administered through IEDA's Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of these 10 projects is over $2.8 million.

"Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match," said Michael Wagler, state coordinator for the Main Street Iowa program. "In total, these projects will actually leverage significantly more than the state's investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. This investment will have a significant economic impact within each district."

Since the first Challenge Grants were awarded in 2002, about $13.7 million in funds have leveraged more than $67 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 216 projects in 56 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.

City of Coon Rapids
City of Coon Rapids
123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
Phone: 712-999-7749
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