A new face for an old building downtown passed through the city council chambers, June 5, as the group approved an application for a Community Development Investment Grant for 115 N. Main St., the site of the Greenwoods State Bank Drive thru. The program provides financial assistance for shovel-ready projects with an emphasis on downtown community-driven efforts.
The project is being spear-headed by Tyranena Properties-Bruns LLC. Business owners who want to take advantage of the program need sponsorship from a municipality to qualify. Tyranena-Burns wants to develop the property, but needs assistance to make the project feasible.
City Attorney Daniel Drescher said the city does not need to provide any matching funds for the project.
“It’s completely state aid, and it is for private development,” he said. “The money that would come out of the city’s pocket is expected to be reimbursed, like utility fees to connect water and electric to that building.”
He said the developer’s agreement would explain any planning the city would be involved with would.
“Which would be between the developer, the private owner, and the city,” he said. “There is no out-of-pocket cost for the city.”
Drescher said the expectation is there will be commercial space on the bottom floor, office space on the second floor and the third floor will have one residence.
Council President Diann Fritsch said she is happy there are people in the city with the creativity and vision to see something that isn’t there right now.
“They see what it can be, and I think it will be, an improvement to downtown,” she said.
City Manager Steve Wilke said the project would be a significant investment.
“It will be worth a lot more than it currently is,” he said.
Fritsch commented that it was not a good site for a drive-thru.
“Being so close to the intersection,” she said. “That will be a good thing too.”
During public comments, Lake Mills Main Street Executive Director Katie Otto said she endorses the grant and rehabilitation of the property.
“I think improving that property will be great for downtown,” she said. “It’s wonderful that we can have a private sector/government investment fix up a building that needs a lot of work before it can be used.”
Lake Mills Chamber of Commerce Director Alisa Smith said the entire chamber board supports the project.
“It would be a great thing for downtown to get rid of an old under-utilized drive thru and turn it into usable space,” she said. “We need the space, people are looking for more space, and we’re excited that somebody has the vision to redo a property that is difficult to redevelop.”