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New Development Proposed at Historic Uptown Marion Site

Published Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Eagle View Partners announces its submission of a plan to redevelop a historic site in Uptown Marion. The plan is outlined in a proposed Development Agreement between Eagle View and the City of Marion, which will be reviewed in a City work session today, and considered for approval in the weeks to come.

Eagle View’s proposed redevelopment plan calls for two properties to be constructed at 1101 7th Avenue, currently the Marion Square Plaza strip mall. The site is historically significant in that it was the location of the two-story train depot at “the corner of Broad and Meridian streets” in the late 1800s, now 11th Street and Sixth Avenue, according to The Gazette. The railroad made Marion an important station on its line between Chicago and Omaha through the 1960s. The depot’s iconic roof was salvaged in 1988 and moved across the street to City Square Park where it sits today.

The plan calls for the development of two properties, collectively referred to as “Broad and Main:”

  • Broad and Main (on 7th): A three-story mixed-use property with first floor commercial retail and upper story residential units in a mix of efficiency, studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom floor plans.
  • Broad and Main (on 6th): A three-story residential property with a mix of larger 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom floor plans. Both properties will share use of a surface parking lot situated between the properties.

Shive-Hattery, Inc. Architecture (Iowa City) is designing the properties to honor the historical context of Uptown Marion with a nod to the railroad station history. Notably, the last remaining piece of the original depot, the keystone which hung prominently over the depot’s entry, has been preserved and will be incorporated into the project. DCI Group, Inc. (Des Moines) will serve as the general contractor.

The proposed development plan prioritizes placemaking efforts already underway by the City of Marion; Specifically, Broad and Main on 7th provides an opportunity for a food and beverage anchor tenant with outdoor patio seating overlooking City Square Park, and a pedestrian-focused walkway between the proposed development and City Square Park. Both initiatives are identified as key areas of coordination between the developer and the City of Marion to leverage existing master planning and streetscaping efforts to establish Uptown as a strong economic center.

“This development will be a catalytic complement to the years of planning and visioning executed in our community,” said MEDCO President Nick Glew. “We are proud to have attracted Eagle View as a first class team who shares the excitement of our long term vision for Marion’s Uptown District.”

“We’ve seen a lot of growth and vibrancy in the Uptown District over the last five years, and this project has the potential to keep that momentum going,” said Brooke Prouty, Director of Uptown Marion. “Housing is a key piece in creating a vibrant district and attracting people to our historic commercial core.”

Eagle View is a real estate company based out of Cedar Falls, Iowa and provides real estate development and property management services. Eagle View has spent the last decade developing and managing a mixed-use development called River Place in the heart of Cedar Falls along the downtown riverfront. In total, River Place added 120 residential lofts and condos, over 20,000 sf of commercial retail space, a state-of-the-art coworking and entrepreneurial center (Mill Race), and a public plaza that hosts both public and private community events (River Place Plaza).

“We see a lot of character similarities between Marion and Cedar Falls, especially now as both communities are responding to the challenges of the day with strength and leadership. Like we found in Cedar Falls, we’re expecting to find folks of all ages who are interested in living, working and playing in a vibrant district. We’ve seen that adding residential density in an urban center complements existing shops, bars and restaurants; Uptown residents become their most loyal customers. We’re excited for the opportunity to bring similar vibrancy to Marion,” said Mark Kittrell, CEO/Founder of Eagle View.

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