Iowa Economic Development Authority announced today that the Newton Legacy Reinvestment District project was selected to receive a provisional award of 14 million dollars from the Iowa Reinvestment District Program. The partnership between Catalyst Development, Des Moines Area Community College, and the City of Newton will now submit a final application to the program. The provisional approval is 90% of the pre-application proposal request of $15,469,661.
The pre-application window for the Iowa Reinvestment District Program was in February. IEDA received ten applications. An evaluation committee scored pre-applications using criteria in state administrative rules. Six community applications that received an average score of 70 or more presented their proposed projects to the IEDA board on April 30, which included Newton. The program has a $100 million allocation, and the IEDA board has until July 1, 2025, to make the final awards.
"I'm thrilled that we were selected to submit a final application for the Iowa Reinvestment District Program," stated Mayor Michael L. Hansen. "The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District will transform our community. Not only at Legacy Plaza and in downtown Newton, but throughout the community, through public and private partnerships.”
"Our plans in the district advance the concept of "reinvention through rehabilitation" that has been at the forefront of Newton's forward progress for many years," continued Hansen. "The District will also build a vibrant model for rural redevelopment throughout the State of Iowa. We know this project will provide solutions that small towns and cities across Iowa can replicate to solve their communities' problems. We are grateful to Catalyst Development and DMACC for their persistence in the development of Legacy Plaza in partnership with the City of Newton."
The District has three different projects: Catalyst Development's Residential & Hospitality Adaptive Reuse, DMACC's Destination Legacy Commons, and the City of Newton's Resiliency Zone. Components of the projects in the 74.85-acre district include market-rate apartments, a boutique hotel, gathering spaces such as Legacy Commons and Legacy Greenspace, academic program expansion, historic downtown improvement & housing grants, bike path connections, many infrastructure improvements, and much more.
"I am grateful to the IEDA Board for supporting this project that promises to transform Newton," said Angela Harrington of Catalyst Development. "The former Maytag Corporation headquarters, which is the center of Catalyst's development project, repurposed as a hotel, event center, pedestrian dining, and entertainment destination as well as affordable housing, is going to be one incredible project."
The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District represents the beginning of a new chapter for Newton, with the threads of rehabilitation, determination, and resiliency woven into the story of rural renaissance and resilience. The District will provide many opportunities for engagement for visitors and residents of various economic backgrounds, ages, and interests for years to come. The impact on community quality of life and visitor experience afforded by the aggregate of these projects is significant.
“We are grateful for the confidence that the Iowa Economic Development Board has shown in our project,” stated Joe Pugel, chairperson of the DMACC Board of Trustees. “The funding from the Iowa Reinvestment District program will allow us to turn our vision for Newton and Legacy Plaza into a reality that many generations will enjoy for years to come.”
“DMACC is very proud to be a full partner with the City of Newton in all they do,” added Rob Denson, president of DMACC.
For an executive summary of the Newton Legacy District project, visit: www.newtongov.org/newtonlegacy-execsummary.