Tallcorn Towers breaks ground

Community leaders gathered at the Tallcorn Towers Thursday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony signifying that the renovation is now underway.

“Let’s shovel some dirt!” said Cynthia Lee, vice president of CommonBond Communities, LLC, the company renovating the apartment building.

The renovation got underway roughly two months ago, but Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee (MEDIC) and CommonBond staff wanted to wait for the weather to improve before the groundbreaking. The $10 million construction will expand the building’s current 65 apartments into 49 one-and-two-bedroom apartments for low-income families.

Members of the Marshalltown City Council, Marshall County Board of Supervisors, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce and Frerich’s Construction, the company performing the construction, were on hand inside the building prior to the groundbreaking in Susie Sower Park. The city sold the park to CommonBond for $1 in 2012 so it could use it as part of Tallcorn’s re-envisioning.

Lee said those in attendance would have to envision what the building will look like since it still lacks many of the aesthetic amenities that will be in place for the grand opening. Once complete, she said, the apartment building will boast a computer lab, laundry room and an arts and crafts lab.

But, that’s not all.

“The units will have a lot more space,” Lee said.

Construction crews will gut the apartments, leaving some of the historic corridors. But Lee said the effort is essentially an ambitious revamp.

Tom Deimerly, president of MEDIC, said many partners came together to bring the project to fruition. He credited Lee with coordinating the project.

“She has been moving a lot of chess pieces around to make this happen,” he said.

An invitation-only reception at Wells Fargo followed the groundbreaking, where CommonBond unveiled some of the schematics for the renovation. The project is slated for completion in January 2014, but Lee said some apartments could see occupancy in December.