Creating A Pedestrian Focus in Uptown Marion
Broad and Main on 7th is the first phase of a mixed-use project that will offer walkability and connectivity to the historic district.
By Mark Seabold
The City of Marion Iowa was looking for a development team to replace an aging strip retail center that did not add to the local character of Uptown Marion.
"Our community has really been working towards this particular moment for the past decade. It's been 10 years of planning for how the city evolves its transportation infrastructure to better accommodate the community that we are today, but also better create an environment, for a walkable engaging downtown," said Nick Glew, President at Marion Economic Development Corporation.
"We were looking for a developer that really could relate with the historic yet progressive environment that uptown Marion has been and is continuing to seek to become, and we looked at Cedar Falls and we looked at Mark Kittrell."
Eagle View Partners out of Cedar Falls, Iowa with DCI Group Inc. was selected to redevelop the site based on their successful projects transforming and restoring the downtown Cedar Falls area with many residential and mixed-use projects.
"They really have, I think, a passion and a real vision for what they want to see in Marion and particularly the uptown area being like," Mark Kitrell, of Eagle View Partners said. "It's a great team and a great community with a wonderful vision, and we're really excited to be involved."
Increasing foot traffic to fuel growth
Broad and Main on 7th is the first phase of a two phase mixed-use project that will add to Uptown Marion by creating pedestrian focused retail and restaurant space on the ground floor with connectivity to the adjacent historic commercial district and City Square Park.
"I think the project ultimately is going to add to the area by bringing in a lot more people to live right there in the uptown district of Marion. That helps fuel, businesses, restaurants -- it'll help really, create some vibrancy in the area," architect Mark Seabold said of the project.
The 42 residential units above feature studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units designed around large windows to capture natural light and offer views to the park and uptown area.
"By doing a modest building that actually is very similar to the warehouse building that was there when the Depot was located on that site that's going to play nice with the neighbors and just add to the vibrancy and the character of the whole uptown area," Seabold added.
uptown living & community
Broad and Main on 6th is the second phase which will add 42 apartments as well as amenity space and underbuilding parking for the residents.
Both projects are working closely with the City of Marion as they implement many other improvement projects including revised streetscaping and a new pedestrian plaza that extends City Square Park to the site.
"The most dramatic thing will be the Plaza when it's eventually done between sixth and seventh," said Thomas Treharne, Planning and Development Director for the City of Marion. "There's going to be outdoor dining opportunities connected to the north Plaza. It's just going to be such a dramatic change to what we have now."
a sense of space & identity: uptown marion
The Broad and Main development projects blur the line between public and private space providing a project that ties seamlessly into the uptown context and offers new opportunities for retail, restaurants and residential living options.
"I believe that 10 years from now, we will look back at this project and we will see it as the most catalytic project that we have ever invested in together as a community," Glew added.
"I think that's why this project is so important because it's not just about one particular block in the heart of our community. Really what we're doing here is, we are investing in the image of our community. It's what people associate with, that's uptown Marion."