posted in Chamber of Commerce on November 16, 2018

DES MOINES, IA - The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently awarded the Waverly Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Program and Movie Guys, LLC a $75,000 grant for renovations & improvement to the Waverly Palace Theater.  Movie Guys, LLC recently purchased the building with plans to provide the historic theater with much needed interior renovations and amenity improvements.

“Recognizing the importance, both historical and as a community amenity, we will focus our efforts over the next year in securing partnerships for the financial support to make the needed improvements,” said a spokesperson for Movie Guys, LLC. “Our focus to complete this project will rely on obtaining available grants through the IEDA, applying for federal and state historic preservation tax credits and working with the City of Waverly to bring back this vibrant theater and restore its positive economic impact to downtown.”

Movie Guys, LLC is comprised of Waverly native Cory Henke, Denver native Kyle Dehmlow and Cedar Falls native Brent Dahlstrom. Planned improvements are for renovated theaters with the creation of a restaurant/bar with Cedar River views on the ground level and renovating the upstairs 8,400 square feet resulting in unique downtown studio and one-bedroom rental options.

The application for the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant was submitted in late September in partnership with the Waverly Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Program. The awarded grant provides $75,000 towards renovations based on strict criteria regarding the project’s importance and positive impact on the community. “We are grateful for the help of the Waverly Main Street Program and look forward to the next step in making the new theater a great destination for Waverly and the surrounding communities,” said Dahlstrom.

The Waverly Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Program will act as the fiscal agent for the grant. “Our organization was happy to assist in writing this grant and helping a developer take advantage of this opportunity only afforded to Main Street communities such as ours,” said Executive Director Travis Toliver. “We are looking forward to working with Movie Guys, LLC moving forward with this exciting project for Waverly’s downtown and surrounding market.”

 “The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “These projects demonstrate the ongoing commitment the people of our state have to keeping our downtowns vibrant, which helps attract new visitors, residents and businesses.”

Twelve other Main Street Iowa communities also received grants. The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of these 13 projects is over $8.7 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” said Michael Wagler, state coordinator for the Main Street Iowa program. “In total, these projects will actually leverage more than nine times the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation that will have a significant economic impact within each district.”

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.  Since the first appropriation in 2002, approximately $9.6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $57 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 165 projects in 53 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.

For more information about the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program, contact Michael Wagler at 515.348.6184 or mainstreet@iowaeda.com.

A high quality of life, friendly and progressive merchants, and a college town atmosphere; this is Waverly, Iowa.