Rehabilitation of a historic commercial district
Guthrie Center’s downtown was plagued by vacant storefronts, deteriorating buildings and failing infrastructure. City leaders knew something needed to be done and hired MSA to assist the community’s businesses and residents in taking action to revitalize their downtown. The City’s primary goals, leading the revitalization process, were to improve public infrastructure, encourage private reinvestment and create a more vibrant and sustainable downtown. They have done exactly that with MSA’s help, from plan through construction.
The redeveloped downtown
The City initiated the effort by developing a Downtown Development Plan, followed by downtown streetscape improvements. Subsequently, a collective of business owners founded the non-profit Guthrie Center Revitalization Corporation (GCRC), which has renovated several downtown buildings, facilitating business growth. Due to this fortified business and community support, Guthrie Center was awarded Main Street Iowa status by the Iowa Economic Development Authority—an honor given to communities who show an exceptionally high level of commitment to downtown economic development.
Additionally, the City led a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-funded façade rehabilitation project, which included the rehabilitation of 17 buildings throughout downtown. The result was an amazing transformation of downtown Guthrie Center. These actions, along with diligent efforts by private businesses, acted as a catalyst to kick off the downtown revitalization project.
The City Council continues to lead the community and businesses in the implementation of the Downtown Development Plan. Guthrie Center is proud of what it has accomplished in a three-year period.