Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

IEDA Awards $2.6 Million in Catalyst Funding to Strengthen Downtowns Across Iowa

June 30, 2021

For more information contact:

Staci Hupp Ballard, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.348.6245

IEDA Awards $2.6 Million in Catalyst Funding to Strengthen Downtowns Across Iowa

June 30, 2021 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today announced $2.6 million in grant funding to help 26 communities across the state revitalize their downtown districts. The grants were awarded through the Community Catalyst Building Remediation program.

Each community was awarded a $100,000 grant to help redevelop or rehabilitate underused buildings as a way to stimulate economic growth and reinvestment in the community.

“Downtown districts are the heart and soul of our communities, and their strength is critical to the state’s overall well-being,” IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham said. “The Community Catalyst program not only helps strengthen our downtowns at a critical time of economic recovery, it also inspires growth and development for years to come.”

The grants will fund 26 projects, including:

  • Converting the historic Tierney Building in Waukon into a restaurant
  • Transforming the former Irish Hospital Building in Forest City into eight apartment units
  • Restoring a vacant iconic building in Centerville into a commercial wellness studio and eight loft-style apartments

The Community Catalyst program was created in 2018 and is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.

Iowa cities were invited to apply following approval of their pre-applications. Projects are scored based on criteria that include impact, funding/partnerships and incorporation of sustainability and smart growth principles. At least 40% of the grants are awarded to cities with populations of less than 1,500, according to program rules. Cities are required to provide financial and/or in-kind resources to supplement these projects.

For more information on the Community Catalyst program, visit or contact Jim Thompson at 515.348.6183 or

A full list of the of the 2021 Community Catalyst Grant recipients is available here.

# # #

Stay Informed.

Sign Up to Receive Updates