In July, Why Not Us, the investment group comprised currently of 45 women with other donors and memorial donations, purchased the Centennial building at 100 East from the City of Jefferson and will move forward with a new experienced owner of the restaurant.
The City of Jefferson acquired the property from private ownership in 2020. The asbestos removal and the installation of a new roof was completed by the city after Why Not Us came forward with the goal of owning and renovating the historic building. Why Not Us was also awarded a Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant in 2020. Covid and a change in the business ownership caused a delay in early 2021.
The board of directors of Why Not Us is now selecting a contractor to complete the renovation plans designed by architect Pete Franks of Glenwood, who has a history of working with successful building projects in Jefferson.
The kitchen and dining area will be the first areas to be completed to expedite the opening of the restaurant. The goal of Why Not Us to bring back this specialty restaurant to the community for residents and visitors is still the primary objective. In the near future, the restauranteur will be announced to the public.
Why Not Us has also begun the process of adding the building as contributing to Jefferson’s Historic District to access state historic tax credits. The project also includes two upper story housing units.
The women of Why Not Us have directed the board of directors to make decisions for the group. There is continued wide-spread support and interest by this group of women for the project. Additional investors and “friends” of the project are always welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. This type of investor group is unique and will be a model for other communities to accomplish their goals with partnerships.