Business View Magazine November-December 2018

202 203 “So, it’s no surprise that expansion of the library was identified as a priority in 2009 through a com- munity visioning process. Community leaders have been working since then to determine the most cost effective option for expanded library service. The mixed-use concept provides a way to leverage private investment into a public good, save taxpayer money and add taxable value to the city. “Through a private-public partnership we hope to construct a four-story,mixed-use project in the core of our historic Uptown district.The project is at the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) stage with the developer,which will hopefully be in place in the next fewmonths.The proposed structure will include some commercial space, the library and then two floors of residential housing.Approximate- ly 75 units will be constructed,which will create a vibrant urban atmosphere in Uptown. “To complement the mixed-use project,we’re looking to incorporate a plaza that serves as a gateway to the library and a connection to our tradi- tional square/city park.The ultimate goal is to have activities and ongoing programming on that plaza for 250 days a year,which will add a new level of excitement to the area and foot traffic for the sur- rounding retailers. MARION, IOWA “The mixed-use project is accompanied by a two or three-story parking ramp directly to the south. One of the reasons we need the parking ramp is be- cause there is a proposal to build another four-story building where the library currently stands. It is ex- pected to include office and retail space on the first floor and three additional floors of apartments. “So,we’re looking at an influx of approximately 150 units into our Uptown area over the next year and a half,which is a game-changer for a city of our size.This Uptown District is presently home to about 30 apartments. So, you can imagine what this will do to bolster the commercial/retail atmosphere, the night life and the overall economic power of the district.” BVM: How about the Central Corridor Project? Treharne: “When I joined the City of Marion 17 years ago, one of the first tasks put before me was to figure out what to do with an abandoned rail- road bed through town.As this construction season comes to a close,we will be about four blocks closer to completing it.My hope is that next year at this time, Sixth Avenue (the former railroad right of way) extending from 15th Street to about 26th Street will be completed.With that connection,we’ll move a block north and begin the major, and much an- ticipated, streetscape project planned for our main thoroughfare through town. “We’ve had a lot of development interest along the Corridor since the road and infrastructure start- ed to go in.A couple of years ago, a housing needs assessment identified a gap in housing for seniors, as well as low and moderate income families. In