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Masonic Lodge

This is the Waterloo Masonic Temple at East Park Avenue and Mulberry Street. Developers have received $1.1 million in state tax credits to develop loft apartments in the building

WATERLOO — A downtown Waterloo redevelopment project has been awarded historic preservation tax credits.

Park Avenue Lofts LLC has been awarded $1.17 million in historic preservation tax credits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a $5 million project at the former Waterloo Masonic Temple building at East Park Avenue and Mulberry Street.

The developers are creating 27 residential units to be known as Park Avenue Lofts.

“Work is underway,” said developer Brent Dahlstrom of Park Avenue Lofts. “The project will take all of 2018 to finish.”

Park Avenue Lofts LLC purchased the five-story, 50,000-square-foot building at 325 E. Park Ave. for $550,000 in 2013. The lofts will be installed on the building’s third and fourth floors. Half will have upper-level space and the rest will be single floor units.

The second floor will contain common space for tenants as well as a co-working area for personal or professional use. The common space area will include a fitness center and common lounge available to tenants. The co-working space will include offices available for lease, a computer work space area, a conference room and a kitchen.

The building, a landmark structure near Lincoln Park and the Waterloo Elks Club, is more than 90 years old. Some of the building’s upper floors never were utilized. In past years it has been a stop and reception location for Main Street Waterloo’s “Tour de ‘Loo” events. Most recently the lower levels have been used by Faith Temple Baptist Church for worship space. The developers want the church to remain there.

Tax credits for Park Avenue Lofts were among awards totaling $19.7 million for 13 historic preservation projects across the state.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority registered the projects to receive these tax credits via the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District tax credit program.

The program provides a state income tax credit to projects for rehabilitation of historic buildings. The program is designed to promote the retention of unique, character-defining buildings and building features that contribute to a community and neighborhood. Rehabilitation must meet the federal Secretary of Interior standards.

The projects were selected from among 24 applications IEDA receives requesting $56 million in tax credits. Projects are scored based on readiness, financing and local support and participation.

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