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The original item was published from 5/23/2023 2:37:11 PM to 8/24/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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City of Newton - Community Development

Posted on: May 23, 2023


This rendering depicts a two-bedroom apartment in the planned 70-unit, market-rate apartment.

DMACC today announced it has sold 3.9 acres of the Newton Legacy Plaza Campus, formerly the Newton Maytag Campus, to Christensen Development of Des Moines. 

The sale includes historic Maytag buildings 1, 2, 16 and 50, as well as associated parking lots and driveways, and will enable the renovation of Buildings 1 and 2 into a 58-room historic boutique hotel and related facilities, and the conversion of Building 16 into a 70-unit market-rate apartment community. Both projects will honor the legacy of the Maytag Corporation in Newton and preserve these landmark historic buildings. The total estimated expense is $35 million.

“This is an exciting announcement for DMACC, the City of Newton, Jasper County and the entire state of Iowa,” said Rob Denson, DMACC President. “The vision for Legacy Plaza is becoming a reality.”

The newly announced sale and resulting projects have been a joint effort among DMACC, Christensen Development, Jasper County, the City of Newton, the Newton Development Corporation and Jasper County Economic Development. Construction will begin later this summer and be completed in approximately one year. When completed, the boutique hotel and market-rate apartments will be managed by hotelier Angela Harrington, president and CEO of Catalyst Development, and owner of Hotel Grinnell in Grinnell and Highlander Hotel in Iowa City. Harrington’s hotels are the only woman-owned hotels in Iowa.

“This public/private cooperation has turned a formerly underutilized corporate headquarters into a new, vibrant public space, with Legacy Plaza becoming a destination attraction that people from Newton and surrounding communities can appreciate and enjoy,” Denson said. “That’s also important to us because our DMACC Newton Academic Campus is right next door. This development is good for everyone involved.” 

The History and Future of Legacy Plaza

The former Newton Maytag Campus was donated to DMACC by Reza Kargarzadeh, President and Founder of Engineered Plastic Components, Inc., in October 2016. DMACC then renamed the campus “Legacy Plaza” to help rededicate and market the campus to prospective businesses from across the country. 

Since DMACC took ownership of the campus, 18 new tenants have located at Legacy Plaza, adding more than 135 new jobs to the Newton economy. Legacy Plaza also serves as a community gathering space, where outdoor music, food trucks and other community events are regularly held.  

“DMACC has always been happy to be a part of the solution of turning the former Maytag headquarters into a vital asset for Newton and Jasper County,” said Joe Pugel, Chair of the DMACC Board of Trustees. “However, without all the other partners – including the Jasper County Supervisors, Christensen Development, the Newton Development Corporation, City of Newton and the State of Iowa – this would not have been possible. The mark of a vibrant and thriving community is the collaboration that happens to keep the community growing. DMACC looks forward to continuing collaborative efforts with all its partners.”

Frank Liebl, Executive Director of the Newton Development Corporation, said the project would help fill a need for more housing and hospitality lodging in the Newton community.

“Having Christensen Development purchase and develop these buildings into market-rate apartments and a boutique hotel is an economic boost to the City of Newton,” Liebl said. “Having worked with the three previous owners of the former Maytag Corporate Campus, I’ve seen how difficult it’s been to fill the space. It wasn’t until DMACC took ownership of these buildings during the latter part of 2016 that we began to see a vison for this campus. This announcement is proof that when we all work together good things happen, and I’m convinced that, with this news, more development will occur on and around this campus.”

Brandon Talsma, Chair of Jasper County Board of Supervisors, also praised the collaborative project.

“We were pleased to assist with the funding of such an important project for Jasper County,” Talsma said.

Earlier this year, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board also gave final approval to a $14 million Iowa Reinvestment District Award to support the development of the market-rate apartments and boutique hotel at Newton Legacy Plaza, as well as to help fund improvements to gathering spaces such as an event venue and Legacy Greenspace, academic program expansion, historic downtown improvement and housing grants, bike path connections, infrastructure improvements and more. 

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