the second floor –– are the only signs of what’s to come in the space.
“The arcade is designed so that you do have the ability to look through one side of the building to the other,” Gray said.
A skylight ceiling and large boutique windows on both sides of the walls will give natural light in the area, Gray said, while allowing more window space for businesses to advertise their products. The space also allows people to travel easily between Main Street and Jackson Street on foot, Thomson added.
“It’s helping to build commercial traffic,” Thomson said.
Two main stairwells, an elevator and space for a potential elevator in the future are being detailed out, set in place with a “green technology” ICF styrofoam foundation system that cuts down on the need for wooden forms while providing more insulation to the room. The system also cut down on some labor, Heitz said, taking out the time and material needed to pour and set concrete for the stairwells.
“Intuitively, it’s a better process. You’re putting it in place, it continuously provides a better insulation,” Gray said. “It went really smoothly, it’s been a great product, we’re looking at it on other projects now.”
Bookending the row of storefronts, the clock tower will meet above the intersection of Main Street and Clark Street.
“This is such an important intersection in Charles City, and it always has been, even when Milo Gilbert was building the Union House,” Thomson said. “So that pays attention and respect, and it draws attention to the retail.”
Heitz expects Clark Street to open back up to public use sometime in December, as roofing and windows are finished up and the construction crew moves inside. Thomson and Gray credit community support with allowing the project to progress and stay on the construction schedule.
“Even in Iowa, there aren’t towns with the level of progressive commitment that we have here,” Thomson said. “The attitude isn’t let’s find a way to stop it, it’s let’s find a way to get things accomplished.”
“They’re getting things done and bringing in that outside industry that creates the demand for this type of product,” Gray said.