Judge awards Fort Madison ownership of vacant building

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:15 AM CDT
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FORT MADISON (WGEM) - The process to rehab a vacant building in downtown Fort Madison continues to progress now that the property belongs to the city.

A judge ordered ownership of the building located at 732 Avenue G to be turned over to the city of Fort Madison at a hearing three weeks ago.

Due to it’s location and history, city officials said it has long been a prime target for redevelopment.

Now that the city has ownership of the building, Mayor Matt Mohrfeld said this is the most encouraging the project has been for a while.

Having already conducted an asbestos study, he said the city is also looking to get people inside the building to determine the structural integrity.

Mohrfeld said instability on the floor structure in the southeast corner created some settling and while that has been mitigated to some degree, safety concerns persist.

“To people on the streets number one but also for the building so we have to put somebody in there, make sure we’re not worsening and anything we can do to shore it up before we go into full-scale fixing it,” he said.

Mohrfeld said they are working with a developer to try bring the property back into the downtown business district.

“The developer is in the second stage of bringing and engineer and architect in there and running feasibility on it,” he said.

Mohrfeld said they are pushing for an adaptive rehab as the property has both commercial and residential space

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