GC council selects developer for Upper Story Housing project

Grundy Center native Matt Bockes (inset) was recently selected as the developer for a unique Upper Story Housing pilot project that would revamp the former Frederick Furniture building in Grundy Center to create upper story apartments. (Photo, inset, courtesy of Integrity Construction, photo at left courtesy of GNB Real Estate)

GRUNDY CENTER - For the last several months, the Grundy Center City Council has been working towards submitting an application for $500,000 in grant money from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which would go towards funding a unique Upper Story Housing pilot program. At Monday night’s meeting, the council selected a developer - Matthew Bockes - who will continue the application process with the hopes of being awarded the grant dollars.

As part of the process, the IEDA (Iowa Economic Development Authority) selected one historic, underutilized building in downtown Grundy Center for a developer to revamp, specifically by adding upper story housing. The building chosen was the former Frederick Furniture building, located at 703 G Avenue.

Bockes, a construction superintendent who lives in Ankeny but is originally from Grundy Center, said that when GC council selects developer for Upper Story Housing project he heard about the opportunity to develop in his hometown, particularly with such a prominent and historic building, he hopped on board.

“I was born and raised in Grundy Center, and my wife Tara is from here, too,” he said. “Grundy Center is a special place for us; and even though we live in Ankeny, this is still home in a lot of ways. One of my passions is construction, and another is historical restoration, and [a project like this] is something [my wife and I have] always dreamed of doing. I’ll be completely honest, we’re not developers; that’s not what we do. But when this building went up for sale we had interest in it. It’s such a prominent spot in Grundy Center, and the main street here is awesome, but it can go the other way if things aren’t taken care of for these old buildings.”

For the full story, see this week's Grundy Register.