Hundreds attend Tallcorn grand opening

“Amazed” was Cynthia Lee’s succinct, yet ebullient reaction after a tour at the Tallcorn Towers Tuesday afternoon.

Lee served as project manager for CommonBond, the St. Paul-based company which purchased the building from B.O. Bryngelson of Marshalltown in 2012 and invested $11 million dollars into the historic site.

Lee joined hundreds of Marshalltown area residents who turned out to visit at a public open house from noon to 2 p.m. hosted by CommonBond.

“They did a terrific job,” said Steve Sutherland of Marshalltown, who was inspecting the newly remodeled ballroom. “They used to have a bar in this room that was quite popular years ago.”

Sutherland was especially pleased that Frerichs Construction Co. of St. Paul, the general contractor, hired a local contractor, Delos Steward to do the plastering work in the stately room.

“These windows and chandeliers are spectacular,” Sutherland said.

One visitor inspecting the ballroom and other sections of the ground floor was Byrngelson.

“I like what they have done here,” he said.

Bryngelson said he thought CommonBond’s initiative to provide retail space on the Main Street side was a good idea.

“They (CommonBond) will bring it back just like it used to be,” he said. “It is a very nice enhancement.”

Michelle Drummer, of Marshalltown, a sales associate with CBRE Hubbell Commercial, was actively promoting the retail space to visitors. The company is marketing the space and there are several interested parties, Drummer said. “The interest picked up significantly when the windows were installed and the room finished,” she said.

While the ballroom and retail space attracted much attention, it will the building’s 49 apartments which will provide the return on CommonBond’s investment.

“There are 42 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom apartments,” said Laura Frost of CommonBond, who was one of several staff conducting tours of apartments.

Visible are the original tile floor and some doors, installed years ago when the building was a shining star in the Eppley Hotel of Omaha, Neb. chain of 18.

Preservation guidelines were applied to interior and exterior improvements, including windows, and the stately ballroom-banquet room. But modern conveniences dominate, with each apartment having its own heating and cooling unit, new kitchen cabinets and modern bathroom fixtures.

Additionally, the building features a computer lab, laundry room, an arts and crafts facility, and a secure, 24/7 fitness facility.

Tuesday’s grand opening under CommonBond took place nearly 86 years after the Eppley Hotel Chain held a grand opening for the Hotel Tallcorn in October 1928, in the same ballroom admired by Tuesday’s visitors.

“The Tallcorn will be a real asset to the community,” Sutherland said.