Charles City – Lidd and Cordray, and as of last week, Simply Essentials are both vacant buildings on Main Street. These subtractions from America’s Hometown are starting to bolster the already gathering-dust, McQuillen place in the heart of downtown. Mayor Dean Andrews is more worried about replacing the job loss then the appearance of Main Street.
McQuillen Place, which was bound to become a staple of Charles City, is well in disarray after the announcement earlier this year that lead developer and native, Charles Thomson had declared bankruptcy on the project.
The Community Revitalization Committee is attempting to jump-start the downtown business layout, but is yet to have any bites on the open buildings. Andrews says it is a pipe-dream to believe these openings can be filled with department stores, especially in this economic climate.
Andrews says shops such as Rustic Corner and the Country Store are niche prototypes which are able to work in small towns. Brandy Salinas, a local, says McQuillen Place is looming over our city like an ugly cloud.
Marilyn Isakson, a local as well, says Main Street is a gorgeous portion of the town.
The Main Street Challenge Grant Program run by Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is extending stipends up to $75,000 to down towns with the best pitches around Iowa. So, hope for Charles City’s downtown could be coming quickly over the horizon.