Downtown Façade Improvement Program

In 2016 the Oskaloosa City Council and local property owners submitted a grant application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for Downtown Revitalization Program Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The focus was to eliminate "slum and blight" in downtown Oskaloosa by completing important building facade repairs and storefront improvements while respecting historic character.  The grant was awarded and construction began in 2017.  The success of this first phase led to a second grant and construction phase, which began in 2019, and also a third phase for 2021-2022.  Additional information on each phase can be found below.

Project Location

Phase I - north of the Square, between High Avenue and A Avenue, and North A Street and North 2nd Street
Phase II - west of the Square, between High Avenue and 1st Avenue, and Market Street and Penn Central Mall
Phase III - south of the Square, between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue, and Market Street and South 1st Street

117-113 High Avenue West (300x233).jpg

Phase I (2017-2018) - Project Description
The project included restoration of the façades of eighteen (18) downtown buildings on the north side of the Oskaloosa town square. Buildings include a mix of non-historic and historically significant buildings within the Historic District. The buildings included in the project were identified through a formal "Slum & Blight Survey" and were deemed in need of repair. The designs for the façade restoration were prepared by Curtis Architecture & Design (project architect) and have been approved by the Oskaloosa Historic Preservation Commission and the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office. Funding for this project comes through the City of Oskaloosa, a Community Development Block Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the George Daily Family Trust, and property owners. See facade designs (PDF).

Phase I Status: COMPLETE

The construction contract was awarded to Christner Contracting LLC, and construction was completed between May 2017 and August 2018.

Phase I Funding:

Funding SourceAmount
IEDA - CDBG$500,000.00
City - Tax Increment Finance$287,439.49
Property Owners$240,561.69
George Daily Family Trust$117,318.00
Total$1,145,319.18

Construction Start Date: 05/01/2017
Completion: 8/07/2018

Phase II (2019-2020) - Project Description

This second phase was similar to the first phase, but focused on six (6) buildings directly west of the town square. Qualified buildings were selected through a similar method as the Phase I project and the work included similar types of repair. Curtis Architecture & Design provided the architectural services for this project, and facilitated the historic review and approval processes. Funding for this project came from the City of Oskaloosa, a Community Development Block Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and property owners. See facade designs (PDF).

phase 2 rendering

Phase II Status: COMPLETE

The construction contract was awarded to Cornerstone Commercial Contractors, Inc. of Corning, IA.  Construction began in August 2019 and was completed in September 2020.

Phase II Funding:

Funding SourceAmount
IEDA - CDBG$500,000.00
City - Tax Increment Finance$264,371.00
Property Owners$198,741.00
Total$963,112.00

Construction Start Date: 08/05/2019
Completion: 09/30/2020

Phase III (proposed for 2021-2022) - Project Description

A third phase is proposed for six (6) buildings (11 facades) on the south side of Oskaloosa’s town square.  Qualified buildings will receive façade improvements similar to prior phases. Curtis Architecture & Design will again provide architectural services and facilitate the historic review and approval processes. Funding will come from the City of Oskaloosa, a CDBG Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and property owners.  Click here to view the façade designs.

116-118 1AE ph3 feature

Phase III Status: APPROVED / OUT FOR BIDS

Phase III is programmed for 2021-2022.  It was approved by Oskaloosa's Historic Preservation Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  The project team has finalized the design concepts, secured commitments and easements with property owners, and has published construction plans and specifications to receive bids for construction.  A public hearing will be held May 3, and bids are due May 11.  If a contract is awarded, construction is expected to begin in June or July 2021.

Phase III Funding:

Funding SourceAmount
IEDA - CDBG$500,000.00
City - Tax Increment Finance$265,876.00 (estimated)
Property Owners$202,349.00 (estimated)
Total$968,225.00 (estimated)

Construction Start Date: Spring/Summer 2021
Completion: September 2022