A new three-story, 18,000-square-foot building is coming to the eastern end of Marion’s uptown district.
The $2.6 million building, 1317 Seventh Ave., is being constructed by Phil and Becky High of PDS Investments in Marion. Groundbreaking is set for April, with completion anticipated for late fall.
The Highs are also the owners of Philip’s Diamonds, which is currently in the Marion Square Plaza.
The business has been operating there since 1991 and has begun to outgrow its space.
The third floor will be leased by Jessica Preslar, who will expand her hair studio, Urban Vintage, now at 525 11th St., to a full salon, spa and yoga studio, taking up 4,000 square feet. It will have 20 stylists, Preslar said.
The second floor is still unoccupied. The roof will be available for events during warmer weather.
The idea for the building came about four years ago during a meeting in Marion on redevelopment initiatives. A National Historic Trust representative spoke about the need for an uptown district to have strong anchors at each end.
High determined “that there is really no class-A office space in Marion.”
When plans for the Philips Building, as it’s now being called, evolved to include two stories, High determined it would require an elevator.
“Elevators are expensive anyway, so we just went ahead and added a third story,” he recalled.
The goal, High said “is to … make the building have an uptown feel. It is important for a town to have a strong core because that is essentially its identity.”
After $1 million has been invested by the owner, the city of Marion will provide a cash incentive of $250,000. PDS Investments will receive a rebate of 50 percent of the property taxes for five years, up to a total not to exceed $500,000 combined.
High added that “Iowa has $10,000,000 set aside for new projects and after an accepted application, the tax credit pays for the a percentage of the cost.”