Pillar employees visit Jefferson, tour future Forge

Pillar employees and their families were hosted by Jefferson Matters board members.

Pillar Technology employees who will work in Jefferson, along with their families – about 20 persons in all – visited Jefferson Saturday to see the “before” version of  their new workplace and to see the town.

Their day started with a tour of the buildings at 204-06 E. State St. The 19th century buildings will be renovated to a “Forge,” as Pillar calls its workplaces. Chris Deal, who is developer of the project, led the tour.

He was also part of the engineering team that designed the Des Moines Forge. The Jefferson building is in better shape than the Des Moines building was at the outset, he said.

Deal said the project will be completed in May if all goes as planned.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street coordinated activities for the day. After the building tour the group visited the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower and then had time for lunch and shopping downtown. They finished their visit with a trip to Deal’s Orchard and Apple Acres Fun Zone.

The Jefferson city council has on the agenda for its Tuesday meeting three items of business pertaining to the buildings: approving a $150,000  economic development forgivable loan agreement and a $100,000 Catalyst Grant forgivable loan agreement with East State Street Properties, and considering an application from East State Street Properties for a façade improvement grant. The first and third items would be funded by TIF revenues. The second item is a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority; the funds would be disbursed by the city as a 10-year forgivable loan.

Total cost of the project is $1.5 million.

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