Main Street Ottumwa making progress to downtown improvements

Executive Director of Main Street Ottumwa Bob Untiedt

The first block of Main Street when you come off Hwy 34 will look a lot different than it does today in the near-future.

According to Bob Untiedt, the executive director of Main Street Ottumwa, big changes are underway. You may have already noticed or been to some the new businesses you see driving down E. Main St., such as the Bridge City Furniture store. Also coming soon to the corner of market and main is a new deli that will be opening soon.

Untiedt says these changes are all part of a $1.1 million dollar project, and when you factor in Market on Main, you're looking at nearly a $3 million investment.

â??The most recent thing we had a hand in along with the Legacy Foundation and the City of Ottumwa was that the State of Iowa gave a grant for half-a-million dollars that will improve the storefronts on the 300 block of E. Main,â?? Untiedt said, â??so the entire block is going to look very different in about a year.â??

He says making the downtown a more vibrant place also means incorporating different kinds of arts and culture. Main Street Ottumwa is looking into finding a venue where residents can go salsa dancing per the request of several people in the community.