Saturday, October 04, 2014

Upper-story housing tour today

Join us from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. today for an upper-story housing tour on the northeast corner of the square, designed to give visitors a better idea of housing initiatives that have been completed or in progress this year as well as the opportunity to visit one of the square's most striking and interesting upstairs spaces plus an undeveloped space awaiting development.

The tour is sponsored by the Design Division of Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street and admission will be $5. We'll gather in the Iowa Realty building, where tickets will be available, then go in guided groups from one building to the other. Visitor wristbands will entitle tour participants to discounts at several businesses on the square. The tour will not work for some because stairs must be climbed to reach most of the upper levels.

At the I.O.O.F. Building (left, above) guests will visit a wonderful space created in 1904 as headquarters for Chariton's I.O.O.F. Lodge. Owner Colene Black will be on hand to welcome visitors to a beautifully preserved area used now primarily for private family gatherings.

Two of the 10 apartments under construction as part of the upper-level housing initiative now nearing completion are located in the 1894 Piper's Building, to the right above. These apartments are being constructed with a $1.6 million CDBG housing grant, 40 percent owner match and 10 percent city match.

At the Hotel Charitone, Linda and John Braida will open their third-floor apartment to visitors. The $5.5 million Charitone project, completed earlier this year, was funded by an initial $1.6 million commitment from Hy-Vee, major support from foundations and private donors and federal and state tax credits. There are 12 apartments here, located above the first-floor Charitone Market Grille.

Visitors also will take a peek into the Charitone Annex. Although the roof was replaced and the exterior walls repaired as part of the Charitone project, the interior remains entirely undeveloped, but available.

Just south across Braden Avenue, visitors will climb stairs again to visit the four upper-level apartments under construction there. The other four apartments in the project are located in the Demichelis building on the northwest corner of the square.

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