First funds received for Sensibly Chic

Jefferson was the recipient of a $74,500 Challenge Grant offered by Main Street Iowa in 2016 for the renovation of the Kendall building at 111 E. Lincoln Way. This is a reimbursement of funds grant and the first check for $44,500 arrived after the first claim was submitted.

Rosie and Ray Tucker are the owners of the Sensibly Chic business and grant recipient. Nick Sorensen of the city of Jefferson has been overseeing this project and is accepting the check on behalf of the city, which owned the building. Also at a check presentation were John Sawhill, treasurer for Jefferson Matters: Main Street, and Peg Raney, director of the non-profit Jefferson Matters organization and writer the grant.

With the reimbursement check are (from left) Nick Sorensen, Ray and Rosie Tucker, Peg Raney and John Sawhill

The building is now the new home of Sensibly Chic and is almost complete. The Tuckers are finishing the renovation of the upper story for their living quarters. An outside staircase in Sally’s Alley is also included in the project.

The city of Jefferson acquired this historic downtown building after Linda’s Fashions was moved out. The city took a proactive stance in acquiring the structurally vulnerable building in order to preserve it and keep the downtown square complete. The city council approved not only for the purchase, but also for a new roof, asbestos removal and cleaning out the structure.

With a commitment of $150,000, these first steps helped stabilize the building. The remainder of the funds needed for the project was offered as a forgivable loan over a 10-year period for a viable business.

Sensibly Chic is the first business to be part of the city’s downtown revitalization project to bring successful businesses into empty buildings. Jefferson Matters: Main Street worked with the Tuckers and the city to write the winning grant for $74,500. Other funds were required for the match.

Historic preservation is a key element with the Tuckers refinishing the wood floors and using the tin ceilings in their renovation. Upper story living is another priority for Main Street and the Tuckers have restored the upper floor with plans to live in what they have billed as “the best view in town”.

This grant is a reimbursement of funds, so after the first claim was sent in, the first check of $44,500 arrived this week.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street is working with Prairie Lakes AEA and Greene County Schools for the 2017 Challenge Grant for an apartment and shared workspace on the second floor of the Prairie Lakes AEA building at 118 E State St. The high school construction class would provide the labor for this project. The grant was submitted on Sept. 29 and notification of awards will be in mid-November.

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