Conrad facade project brightens up Main Street

CONRAD – The Main Street makeover is nearly complete in the heart of Conrad. The downtown facade project has been pushing forward through the winter weather and progressing well, said Conrad Chamber-Main Street Director Darla Ubben.

Ubben said they are approximately 85 percent done with the project as of this week. There is still some work that can’t be done until the weather warms up, such as painting.

What has arrived downtown as part of the project are new awnings, windows, siding, outdoor stairways, brick work and a host of other aesthetically-pleasing improvements. The transformation of the downtown is noticeable, Ubben said, and it’s a result of three years of work by Ubben and other city leaders.

“It’s nice to see,” Ubben said. “There’s so many changes that have happened.”

The project was funded primarily through a $500,000 Community Block Development federal grant that Ubben came across through the Main Street Iowa program. The building owners and city also chipped in money for the project which totals $800,000 and revives 20 store fronts.

Conrad Mayor Jeff Martin said the project has made an already great downtown even better.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Martin said. “Every building has been a great improvement – some more than others.”

Ubben said the project is going smoothly and a little under budget, which means they may have money for more work than they originally planned.

“We are sitting really good financially,” Ubben.

Upon completion, Ubben hopes the result of the project will draw more people to the downtown. She already feels the work done so far has brighten the mood of everyone involved.

“It’s a huge boost and great for the economy,” Ubben said. “It just makes everybody feel better.”