The Ottumwa Courier


May 7, 2013

Upstairs/Downtown to showcase progress on rehabilitated buildings

OTTUMWA — The second and third floors of downtown buildings have seen a lot of change in the past year, and now it's time for the public to see the progress being made.

The fifth annual Upstairs/Downtown event will be held on May 18 at five downtown locations: 228 E. Second St., 113 E. Main St., 221 E. Main St., 307 E. Main St. and 332 E. Main St.

Three of the buildings carried over from the event last year: 228 E. Second St. (Shape Up Ottumwa), 221 E. Main St. (rehabilitated upstairs apartments) and 332 E. Main St. (apartments above Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company).

"Last year they were all in progress," said Main Street Ottumwa board president Fred Zesiger. "All three are pretty much finished now."

The two newcomers to the tour — 113 and 307 E. Main St. — contain the Lead Ottumwa Leadership Academy's new space and a "raw space," respectively.

The raw space was previously Iowa Southern Utilities Company with two apartments above, though it sits empty now.

"We don't really have any plans, but we're opening it up for people to see the possibilities of what could be there," Zesiger said.

The event shows the public a mix of spaces at varying stages of rehabilitation so they can see the progress being made downtown, he said. The idea for Upstairs/Downtown brewed five years ago when MSO was working on several projects downtown that it wanted the public to see.

"We wanted people to see that there is stuff going on downtown and it continues to go on," Zesiger said. "There's a lot going on, and a lot of those spaces upstairs people haven't seen — ever. They've been shut up for 50 years, so we're trying to get those upper floors occupied again. It's a process, but certainly if you own a property, you might as well be making revenue off the whole thing rather than just one part of it."

Text Only
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

AP National