WATERLOO, Iowa --- The Masonic Temple in downtown Waterloo is under new ownership for the first time in the building's nearly 90-year history.

Kyle Hawthorne, a broker with Sulentic-Fischels Commercial Group in Waterloo, and local developer Brent Dahlstrom have formed a partnership, Park Avenue Lofts LLC, and purchased the five-story, 50,000-square-foot building at 325 E. Park Ave. for $550,000.

The pair's immediate plan is to convert the top two floors of the building into 11 loft-style apartments with floor plans ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, Hawthorne said, noting that each unit will have two bedrooms and two baths.

The two developers currently are taking bids on the project, which, Hawthorne said, will cost about $1 million.

"We expect to identify a general contractor in next 30 to 60 days," Hawthorne said.

Construction is expected to begin in September, with occupancy anticipated for next March.

Rent will be $1,200 per month, Hawthorne said.

"We're hoping to attract the younger professional who's looking for an urban contemporary style living but wants to be close to the downtown area," Hawthorne said.

The building's other floors will remain "as-is," Hawthorne said. Lodge meetings will continue to be held on the building's third floor until the organization finds another venue.

The first two floors are occupied by the Faith Temple American Baptist Church, which will stay, Hawthorne said.

"It's been on the market for several years, and we were able to put together a creative plan in conjunction with doing some things with the city to make it work," Hawthorne said of the decision to buy the building.

The plan involves an array of tax credits, including a brownfield credit, an enterprise zone and tax increment financing, Hawthorne said.

Details were still being worked out, but according to Hawthorne developers have worked out financing with Veridian Credit Union.

For the moment, the partnership will be based in Dahlstrom's offices at 2202 College St., Cedar Falls.