Tarkio No. 645 Masonic Lodge Mixed Use Revitalization

Over the two blocks it stretches, the downtown Stanton streetscape is cohesive. The buildings are mostly a century old – and older – in vintage, all presenting one or two stories in height with a mostly unified setback. The buildings run nearly uninterrupted, with few “missing buildings” or modern intrusions.

Several of the buildings have intact cast iron storefronts and metal cornices – rare surviving features. Other notable buildings include architecturally rich banks, two fraternal halls located above storefronts, an intact lumberyard, and a vintage service/oil station. Collectively, the business district buildings may qualify as a commercial historic district. More information on the district and this opportunity can be found in Appendix J.

Individually, the Tarkio No. 645 Masonic Lodge stands as a prime redevelopment opportunity. The Montgomery County Assessor dates this two-story masonry building to 1900. Cast iron columns and beam frame the late 20th century storefront. The upper fraternal lodge meeting space was reportedly used as the town hall and a movie theater before it was purchased by the Masons. Today, intact decorative metal ceilings and wood flooring is found on both floors of the partially vacant building.

In May 2017, the Stanton Area Industrial Foundation (SAIF) purchased the historic Tarkio No. 645 Masonic Lodge located at 312 Broad Avenue with the intention of rehabilitating an iconic property on Main Street to stimulate downtown redevelopment efforts. Given its history, condition, and location, the building is ideal for mixed use revitalization that will attract and retain top talent in Stanton. The vision is to renovate the façade, re-roof the building, add one lower-level and two upper story apartment units, and rehabilitate the two commercial spaces. One of the commercial spaces is currently occupied by a hair salon, while the other offers a quaint niche space.

The Action Steps

Determine buildout costs for space

Stanton Area Industrial Foundation, architect, contractor

Finalize desired buildout concept. Work with contractor to obtain quotes for various elements.

Q2 2018

Secure funding to complete Tarkio 645 renovation

Stanton Area Industrial Foundation

Await announcement of Iowa Economic Development Authority Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program grantees. If successful, reaffirm local commitments and proceed. If not, develop funding roadmap and begin pursuing additional funds beyond already committed local dollars. Explore other state and federal programs in addition to funders focused on architecture, economic development, placemaking, and downtown revitalization; use Design Funding Trailblazers (designfunders.org) as a resource.

Q2 2018

Complete improvements on Tarkio 645

Stanton Area Industrial Foundation

Using the revitalization strategy in Appendix K and previously received cost estimates as a reference point, take project out for bid. Once bids are in, choose contractor and begin construction. As with other projects, share updates on renovation progress.

Q1 2019

Find Tarkio 645 tenants

Stanton Area Industrial Foundation, Montgomery County Economic Development

Launch strategic marketing efforts to fill Tarkio 645. Base these efforts on market segmentation research. Work with community members to understand if an in-home business wants to move to the smaller commercial space. Use social media to fill apartments; consider limited incentives if filling the units proves to be challenging.

Q2 2019