Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 20, 2018

Meeting offers public input on calendar factory

By David Hotle | Jul 05, 2017



As plans to reuse the former McCleery-Cumming Calendar Factory at 628 E. Third Street move ahead, the public is being asked to give input on the proposal to rezone the building from light industrial to general business during the planning and zoning committee meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11 in the Washington Public Library.

According to a press release, Hobart Historic Restoration of Cedar Rapids is planning to convert the space to multi-family housing and commercial/business space. The release says a public hearing on the proposal to rezone the building will give all interested parties the opportunity to appear and be heard.

“They don’t have any specifics yet,” planning and zoning director Steve Donnolly said. “They just need rezoning so they can move forward.”

Donnolly said he does not know how the project is proceeding. He said Hobart does not own the building, but has an option to buy it. According to the Washington County Assessor’s web site, the building is owned by Wood Inc., care of Matt Wood. Donnolly said Kelly Wood, Matt Wood’s wife, had requested the zoning change. He also said the property owner doesn’t have to be the one to request a zoning change, and that anyone can.

On July 7, 2015, the Washington City Council voted to support Hobart with a 10-year, 100 percent Tax Increment Finance (TIF) refund for two unused properties in Washington. The city will also supported the developer’s applications for two State of Iowa tax credit programs. The buildings being considered are the Calendar Factory, and Goncho Apartments at 306 N. Marion Ave. The 10-year TIF rebate is the same incentive the council gave for the Reserves of Briarwood project. At the time, the announced use was for apartment buildings. Tax credits can equal up to 45 percent of the project that a developer can get back. Many developers sell the tax credits to investors for cash, which is used for the project.

According to the company’s Web site, Hobart Historic Restoration has worked with over a dozen communities to rehabilitate historic properties and build new housing. One of the projects is the Brazelton Hotel in Mt. Pleasant.

While the project is moving forward, Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said it is far from being finalized. He said the developer’s being funded through the tax credit programs is still needed.

Recently, the Washington County Board of Supervisors considered using the building to house The Washington County Public Health Department.The supervisors unanimously voted against using the building for the department.

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