Cedar Falls Downtown District was Awarded Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant

posted on Thursday, December 1, 2016 in Blog

On November 29, 2016, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced the Cedar Falls Downtown District was awarded Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant. The announcements were made during a ceremony held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden by IEDA Director Debi Durham, Iowa Downtown Resource Center Director Jim Engle, and Main Street Iowa State Coordinator Michael Wagler. The project grants are the result of a competitive, juried application process that sought projects that offered significant opportunities for revitalization of downtown districts.

The grants are administered through IEDA's Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The Community Main Street Board of Directors was presented with three excellent projects from property owners in the district. The group's task included selecting one project to submit for competition at the state level. Community Main Street Executive Director Carol Lilly stated, “We are pleased to have brought forth a project worthy of selection at the state level. The project will have a positive impact on the district and is one of only 14 bricks and mortar projects selected from across the state.”

Cedar Falls Community Main Street received $75,000 in project funds targeted for Dave Farris and Mimi Rice's “Wilbo Project” at 118 Main Street. Specifically, the project involves an exterior façade renovation that will restore the original character of the façades through storefront reconstruction, window replacement & repair and painting & repair of the existing original wall finishes. The interior renovation will update the first floor to current code standards and turn the space from a bar to a restaurant. Exterior work at adjacent 116 Main is included in the project.

Award recipient Mimi Rice commented, “As both building and business owners, we've made a commitment to downtown Cedar Falls. We own and operate the Cypress and are excited to open another business, Wilbo Burgers, Brats & Beers with our son, Alex Kreimeyer, in a building we own. We are excited to receive the award, which allows us to do fast track some of our renovation plans.” The business will open in 2017.

Cedar Falls Community Main Street, Inc. is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization established to foster economic vitality, and to preserve and promote the historic image and character of the downtown, while improving the quality of life in Cedar Falls. Learn more at or call 319-277-0213.