Plans to rehab a building in downtown Cascade are fueling a growing sense of momentum about the small town’s future.
The Cascade City Council recently authorized City Administrator Deanna McCusker to submit a grant application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. If approved, the grant would support substantial renovations to a now-vacant property at 201 First Ave. W.
McCusker said plans call for apartments on the upper level and a restaurant or microbrewery on the lower level.
“I think it would definitely increase the traffic coming to the downtown and it would add to the economic vitality in the community,” she said.
McCusker said the rehabilitation of the building — which formerly housed Corner Tap — would add another attraction to an area that’s already seen an uptick in new businesses.
She said Two Gingers Tavern & Eatery already brings crowds to the downtown. Meanwhile, Cheryl’s Flour Garden Bakery and Coffee Bar opened at 126 First Ave. W. in August.
Solon, Iowa, resident Brian Bock purchased the vacant building on First Avenue West in September for about $80,000, according to online property records.
“I am someone who has always enjoyed rehabbing older houses and buildings,” he said. “I saw this property and thought it was a great opportunity.”
He said demolition within the building already has begun. The roof, windows and building facade all are due for significant improvements.
“Lots of heavy construction needs to be done to make that building a nice place that someone wants to live in,” Bock said.
While the IEDA grant would help move the project forward, Bock said he’ll proceed with improvements to the building either way. Bock said it is too early to share specifics on the possibilities for what will reside within the structure. He said a business could open within the building as early as this fall, but said a 2021 opening is more likely.