Empty Building Tour: A Tour of Possibility

Jefferson, the central seat of one of rural Iowa’s fastest­growing regions, Greene County, is hosting a tour of available buildings in April.

Tours of the buildings are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 and Saturday, April 18.

Greene County is in a period of rapid development. Wild Rose Jefferson, a $40 million casino and events center now under construction, plans to open Aug. 1 with an expected workforce of 275 people.

In a span of two days in February, Cobblestone Hotel and Suites, a $5.3 million, 73­room, three­story hotel, broke ground to the east of the casino, and Hy­Vee opened a state­of­the­art grocery store on the north side of downtown Jefferson. Hy­Vee is employing 237 people.

What’s more, Greene County Medical Center is in the process of a $22.5 million expansion and renovation. Power Lift, Scranton Manufacturing and other businesses have announced growth plans, all of which will add to the commercial and industrial base of the county.

Additionally, Gov. Terry Branstad has designated Greene County as the lead community in the state’s sweeping Home Base Iowa initiative, a program aimed at attracting returning military men and women to Iowa for careers.

“We are bringing people back to Iowa,” said Ken Paxton, director of the Greene County Development Corporation, who introduced the governor at a recent event for veterans.

Housing development is on the immediate horizon in Jefferson, too, with JCorp, a firm with a large resume of work in Ames, having announced plans for a town­home complex and apartment building construction in the western part of Jefferson.
There are opportunities for business development along the U.S. Highway 30 corridor near the casino and in downtown Jefferson.

“There is so much going on in Greene County,” said Jamie Daubendiek, president of the Jefferson Matters: Main Street board. “The downtown is the heart and soul of Jefferson.”

Jefferson has an active tourist market including easy access to the Raccoon River Trail, historical furniture shop, live arts and theater and the iconic Mahanay Carillon Bell Tower.

The tour of available buildings will spotlight:
— The opportunity to become an active participant in the revitalization of downtown Main Street.
— Upper­story development possibilities.
— The availability of historic tax credits.
— Opportunities to leverage employee and business development through Home Base Iowa and the non­profit associated with the casino.

The tour begins and ends at Jefferson Matters: Main Street, 101 E. Lincoln Way, Jefferson, Iowa, 50129.

Refreshments will be available at the office following the tour.

Please RSVP for the tour by registering on our website www.jeffersonmatters.org