It is not an uncommon sight in rural towns--an abandoned building on Main Street. When thishappens, they quickly fall into disrepair, become safety hazards and eyesores. They literally drain the life out of the downtown area which is the soul of your community. Preserving these buildings for both current day function and historic preservation creates unique opportunities for communities. Doing so requires vision, leadership and the commitment to investing sweat equity in the project. It also requires the willingness to take a risk and invest the capital. In Marcus, a group of people have come together to both solve a problem and create an opportunity in their community.
In 2015, Marcus Economic Development Corp. (MEDCO) purchased a building on Main Street in Marcus. (UPDATE:
The new building is sub-divided, The North half has signed leases from KRP accountants -existing business in Marcus just relocating- and Robert Brock, an attorney from LeMars. These will be remote offices for both companies with a representative in this office 1-2 days a week. KRP moved buildings to allow expansion to Country Creations business operations. The South half of the building is owned by Ben Uhl and will house the Marcus Eye Care.) The old building was home to a pharmacy for many years. When the pharmacy closed, the building sat empty for a number of years. Subsequently, it was a bar which closed. The most recent occupant was a restaurant which closed approximately 10 years ago and, since then, the building has been empty and unused. The roof had been leaking and the building was in serious disrepair. MEDCO initially purchased the building in order to demolish it. Upon further evaluation and with the help of Marcus Lumber Company, it was determined that the structure could be saved. So, renovation began.
In April 2016, 18 MEDCO and community volunteers spent the better part of 2 weekends gutting the interior. Mike's Construction has been hired as the contractor to renovate the building. As of today, a new roof has been installed and a fresh, new frontage is in place. It is anticipated that the space will be used primarily as office/retail space. MEDCO 's vision is to lease the space to one or multiple tenants and has been in contact with a number of individuals who are interested in utilizing the space. Interior work will begin in the near future and MEDCO is hoping that future tenants will determine the final finishes for the interior.
Marcus residents are excited to see the investment in the community they call home. This endeavor is preserving a building on Main Street and adapting it to function now and in the future. Neighboring businesses will benefit from an increase in the number of people visiting downtown. Everybody wins.