March 05, 2021

Three local businesses receive city assistance

Council approves funds for renovation, rehabilitation and redevelopment projects

Three separate business investors on Monday received financial support from the city to renovate, rehabilitate and redevelop their properties.

Mike Sell and Cindy Rogers-Sell, of Farmhouse Creations in Newton, were provided a $20,000 forgivable loan by the city to renovate their newly opened retail store at 107 First Ave. W., formerly occupied by Computer Pro.

Farmhouse Creations, which opened in November 2020, specializes in upcycling old materials into craft items, or, as Sell puts it: “Taking old things that are headed to the landfill and giving them new life.”

So it’s only fitting that Farmhouse Creations upcycle its office space, too.

The main level of the building hosts the retail space, but above is an old 2,000-square foot apartment. Sell said he plans to completely remodel the upper floor but will still keep “the flash of the old” but also “get it up to speed with the new.”

However, the main focus — which will require Farmhouse Creations to temporarily close by the end of this month — is the renovations on the first floor.

By September 30, the Sells will have to complete the installation of new heating and air conditioning, bathroom improvements, flooring, wall restorations, electrical work, painting and interior tin ceiling restoration.

“We’re going to expose that (original tin ceiling) and it’s going to be really exciting,” Sell told Newton News of the more than 110-year-old building. “We’re going to take out the old green carpet and expose the old wooden floor.”

It’s expensive work.

“The great thing of it is the help from the city … along with the grants available for historic buildings is the reason why Cindy and I are able to take on a project like this,” Sell added.

Newton City Council also provided $30,000 to CRH Properties, LLC to relocate Crazy Redhead Quilting to a yet-to-be rehabilitated retail space at 117 First Ave. W., formerly occupied by Impress Bridal.

Laura Jochem, owner of Crazy Redhead Quilting, is excited to be moving to the south side of the town square where there will be more space for her retail and online store, which will now be at one location. Jochem typically sells quilting supplies and hold classes for area quilters.

“Everything needed to learn how to quilt and make your quilts from start to finish,” Jochem said.

Crazy Redhead Quilting old space had suffered damage during its vacancy and the derecho storm in August 2020, city documents said. CRH Properties, LLC will have to complete the replacement of missing sub-floor, carpeting, vinyl flooring, baseboards, LED lighting, ceiling tile, and electrical work.

Away from the town square, Hopkins Properties, LLC has made an offer on the vacant building at 1810 First Ave. E. with the intention of acquiring it for “redevelopment into modern commercial space,” city documents say.

The city provided Hopkins Properties, LLC with a $30,000.

Councilperson Randy Ervin said it was “nice to see change” and new names and faces in the community.

“And to see old buildings new again and (see) people in them,” he added. “… We look forward to supporting your businesses here in town.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or