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Former Hotel Maytag primed for new investor

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:27 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:57 a.m. CDT
(File Photo)
Work is continuing on the former Hotel Maytag including stabilizing the building and finding an investor to develop the cornerstone of downtown Newton.

In the eight months since purchasing the former Hotel Maytag, the City of Newton has taken numerous steps to prepare it for redevelopment. From stabilizing the building to finding a firm investor, the project is moving forward.

“We are actively working with developers on final proposals for the Hotel Maytag rehabilitation project,” city director of finance and development Bryan Friedman said.

Friedman said in recent months the city has had a dozen developers respond to the request for proposals. The city then held meetings and tours with interested developers in January, with final proposals turned in to the city in February.

“I am very encouraged by the interest that the development community is showing in this project,” Friedman said.

Friedman recently said the city had narrowed down the pool of developers to two with a final decision to go before city council soon. 

The city has also been working to bring the building up to standard by making investments in maintenance and necessary repairs.

“There were a number of deferred maintenance items that needed immediate attention and, after assessing and prioritizing the needs, we have undertaken several repairs,” Newton Development Specialist Craig Armstrong said.

Those repairs include replacing broken safety lights and light fixtures on stairwells and upper floor elevator lobbies, repairing the leaking fifth floor roof, repairing key air conditioner units serving the Capitol II Theatre, replacing a piece of crushed sever main below the basement floor, replacing a malfunctioning commercial water heater, jetting out floor drains and clogged pipes in the basement area, repairing leaking steam pipes under the theater, repairing leaking windows on the west side of the building affecting Midtown Café, the former Silverado store and Bloomin’ Nails spaces, repairing the front door at Silverado and conducting a comprehensive hazardous materials study.

The city has invested more than $30,000 into the building through the repairs but Armstrong said the bones of the building are strong.

“The superstructure of the building itself is incredibly stable. Mr. Maytag spared no expense to make the structure of the building incredibly strong,” Armstrong said. “The amount of concrete and rebar in the building is almost unfathomable, and would be impossible to duplicate economically in the present day. That alone makes preserving and protecting this iconic and historic building a necessity for our community.”

The city took an interest in the building following a lack of progress made by former developer, Frantz Community Investors. The Cedar Rapids-based company announced intentions for a $10 million renovation project more than a year ago that included adding 35 market-rate apartments, commercial space and an upscale restaurant, but little to no progress had been made and financing had not yet been secured to start on the project.

The city purchased the building in early September for $549,000 with the intent of owning it for a limited time before a financial investor is selected to complete the renovations.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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