The Tallcorn sits on Main Street in the heart of Marshalltown, Iowa. Built in 1928 as the Hotel Tallcorn, the eight-story building remains the tallest in town.
After serving for decades as a hotel, the building underwent a poorly conceived modernization attempt in the 1960s and was soon converted into 65 tiny apartments. Despite its significance, the building became the town’s problem property.
Its distressed state was among the worst seen by CommonBond Communities, the developer that took on the task of buying and turning around the property.
The nonprofit’s $11.2 million effort included removing extensive asbestos and lead paint and performing a floor-to-ceiling renovation, says Cynthia Lee, associate vice president of housing development.
The historic building was reconfigured to provide 45 affordable and four market-rate apartments. Ten units serve formerly homeless households, and 13 are for special-needs residents. Comprehensive on-site support services are provided.
“This has been a transformative development because it not only provides critically needed affordable housing; it also preserves the most significant landmark in the city and contributes dramatically to larger community revitalization,” says Paul Fate, CommonBond president and CEO.