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If You Build It...
MARION, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -
We hear a lot of talk about the sluggish economy and hesitation to invest, but you wont see much evidence of that driving through Marion.
Loaders are moving dirt - lift trucks are holding workers in hard hats high above the streets and theres a hole along 7th avenue deep enough to hold
Its the most construction anyone can remember in Marion in years. The new $10 million dollar police station is set to open next month, the $3 million Phillips Diamond Store and office complex will be done by Spring, the $3.5 million 1204 building with commercial space and a third floor of apartments should be finished in June and thats just to name a few.
Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn says its an exciting time for the city. Its actually a great time in Marion right now .. I think what were probably seeing is a lot of pent up demand thats been building up over the years. Weve had a couple of studies done for example that showed Marion was a couple hundred thousand square feet short on our commercial square footage.
But its not just stores and offices. The new $2 million Klopfenstein Amphitheater at Lowe Park will mean great outdoor entertainment. The roof supports are up and the giant oak leaves that will form the top of the stage should be lifted in place soon. Its the kind of development all over Marion thats good for business, especially if you happen to be near one of the new projects. Josh Ramsey is just down the street from the 1204 building on 7th Avenue. He says while the development could bring new competition as well, hopefully its the start of transforming the downtown into an area like Galena, Illinois as a destination.
" If you get people living down here plus then you get some nice businesses in there .. some nice businesses over here .. and bring more of the nitchy style of businesses to this area, i think it has a definite possibility to bring us up a bit. "
Pluckhahn says hopefully the new development is a trend as more development and redevelopment comes to Marion.