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Historic mill in Jackson County could soon become housing, business space

The Mitchell-Maskrey Mill was built in the 1850s, and it was still used up until a few years ago. Now, a developer wants to give it a new purpose.

MAQUOKETA, Iowa — The Mitchell-Maskrey Mill stands at the center of town in Maquoketa, Iowa. Inside, there's still grain on the ground and walls from when farmers would bring it in for processing. But it's now home to pigeons and cats.

"Everyone comes to the Mitchell-Maskrey building to get a piece of history," Maquoketa City Administrator Gerald Smith says.

Now he says the developer wants to transform the building, with the city's and county's help.

"We`re hoping with some additional grant funding we can restore the beauty and the significance of the building for reuse," says Dave Heiar, senior advisor at the Jackson County Economic Alliance.

Mitchell-Maskrey updated their cover photo.

He's been helping the developer and city apply for grants and tax credits. So far they've gotten $550,000 for the $1.5 million project.

Heiar says everything needs work, from the crumbling walls outside to the bare bones inside. But he says they want to make space for businesses on the first floor with apartments upstairs.

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"The redevelopment of this building will provide that up story housing that we so desperately need and want in order to reface our downtown," Smith says. "When it's finished and complete, it`ll be that much more grandeur for us."

Renovations could start as soon as the financial work is done. That could happen as early as this August or September.