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Wilson Lofts construction completed after nearly a decade

The iconic downtown Clinton building is ready for residential and commercial tenants to move in.

CLINTON, Iowa — A project nearly 10 years in the making is officially completed in Clinton. 

Community members and the Economic Growth Corporation, or GROWTH, officially opened the Wilson Lofts following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon on Monday. 

The building, located at 217 5th Ave. South, is one of the most iconic in downtown Clinton. Over $15.6 million has been invested into the redevelopment project, which began with a concept in 2013. 

“Today marks a big day for all of us… a major redevelopment milestone for GROWTH and the Clinton community that is the result of a collaborative planning effort spanning nearly 10 years that required hard work, determination, resilience, and coordination by many partners,” Brian Hollenback, president/CEO for GROWTH, said.

What are the apartments like?

The former offices in the building's upper stories are now 33 residential apartments, ranging from two-story, townhome-type apartments, lofts from 975 to 1,275 square feet, and one- and two-bedroom rental units from 483 to 1,224 square feet. 

According to Wilson Lofts' website, these units will be available for move-in by April. Home Base Property Management, LLC, is Wilson Lofts' property management company.

Of those dwellings. 26 are designated at a market rate and seven are designated as workforce housing for those earning 80% of the Area Median Income. Rents range from $800-1,375 per month. 

The ground floor of the building was split in half so it could be redeveloped for two different uses. The area facing the commercial corridor of 5th Avenue South now houses two business incubators: Clinton Culinary and Makers on 5th. 

The other area facing 6th Avenue South was redeveloped into seven townhome-style apartments, and some include their own entrances. Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion is energized about the economic impact this development will bring.

"I'm excited to see moving trucks, I'm excited to see new businesses built out of the first floor here and all of the other businesses that are going to expand through here," Maddasion said.

An appliance store that shares a wall with the Wilson building supplied most of the appliances including washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators.

"We're always trying to push for downtown activities," store salesperson Lisa Omoyefa said. "And getting more people down here is a really big thing because it just helps with business for everybody." 

What are "business incubators?"

The business incubators are meant to help new businesses transition into storefront opportunities. They also offer flexible lease terms and subsidized rent. 

Ultimately, the goal of business incubators is to get startups to establish themselves and grow into larger storefronts within Clinton. Rent on these facilities includes the tenant's share of utilities, shared fiberoptic internet, common area maintenance and business resources. 

There are five incubator sites within Clinton Culinary, which is a kitchen incubator for start-up culinary businesses. The suites range from 194 to 317 square feet with rent ranging from $715-1,175 per month. 

Makers on 5th is meant for retail and other businesses just starting out. There are six suites available for leasing, ranging from 499 to 894 square feet. Rent ranges from $715-1,175 per month. 

Click the links above for more information on applying for these suites. 

What's the total investment? 

GROWTH says the total investment sits at $15.6 million. Overall, the project attracted over 12 layers of complex financing to make up the capital stack and includes Federal New Market Tax Credits, State Historic Tax Credits, Federal Historic Tax Credits, Tax Increment Financing from the City of Clinton, Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credits, Downtown Revitalization Grant by the Iowa Economic Development Authority through the City of Clinton, and private debt by IHMVCU, BankORION and American Bank & Trust. 

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