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$10,000 grant awarded for site prep on First Avenue

Published: Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 9:53 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 11:25 a.m. CDT
(Jamee A. Pierson/Daily News)
A redevelopment project is underway for the properties between 1223 and 1315 First Ave. E. The city recently awarded a $10,000 grant to owner John C. Gretlein to assist in site preparations.

A $10,000 grant was awarded to the developer working along the First Avenue corridor.

Newton City Council approved the grant to John C. Gretlein to help with site preparations for redevelopment.

Gretlein purchased the properties between 1223 and 1315 First Ave. E. in July and plans to redevelop the land to bring in potential employment opportunities along with improving the city’s curb appeal and increasing local shopping options. Selling agent Dick Boggess said Gretlein does not have specific plans for the land but he is willing to build to suit if a business is interested.

“I’ve had some citizens who have already noticed the demolition happening in that area. I am happy to see some progress and anxious to see more,” councilwoman Evelyn George said.

The funds awarded are in exchange for site preparation activities including demolishing the buildings on the property, removing all retaining walls, steps, asphalt, rubbish, stumps, trees, shrubs, fencing, buried tanks and pipe and placing a sign to promote the economic development of the property. The work is to be completed no later than Dec. 15.

“It is a fantastic place for some redevelopment,” mayor Mike Hansen said.

Gretlein owns additional properties in Newton, including the strip mall just west of the property on First Avenue housing Goodwill and El Sombrero, the Hallmark and Hammer Medical Building, the Optimae building and the Napa Auto Parts building. He is also in the process of constructing a building between the Hallmark and Napa buildings to house Anytime Fitness and Kinetic Edge, which is nearing completion.

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

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