Prominent Dyersville building undergoing major improvements

Renovations are underway to the Schuster Building located at First Avenue East and Third Street Northeast in Dyersville, Iowa. The building is being repurposed for commercial, storage and residential. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — A prominent building in downtown Dyersville is receiving a major face-lift.

Improvements have commenced on the Schuster Building at the intersection of First Avenue East and Third Street Northeast.

Jacque Rahe, the executive director of Dyersville Economic Development Corp., said the finished product will include commercial space on the main level, climate-controlled storage on the second and third stories and apartments on the top level. The renovations will result in an improved, brick facade that will spruce up the appearance of a main drag in Dyersville.

“It is a very prominent building,” Rahe said. “The moment you turn the corner onto Main Street, that is front and center. We’re thrilled about the renovation.”

Karla Thompson, the executive director of Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce, struck a similar tone while discussing the project, noting that one improvement could lead to others.

“The Schuster Building is located right by the library and City Hall, and a lot of people will notice these improvements,” said Thompson. “I think this will inspire the owners of other buildings to look at their properties and consider improvements of their own.”

Rahe emphasized that the west side of the building recently had fallen into disrepair and its improvement became a communitywide priority.

The Schuster Building historically was been home to a hardware store, she explained. More recently, the property has housed a real-estate office and a nutritional beverage business on its first level, while the upper levels largely have remained vacant, according to Rahe.

She said the current commercial occupants are expected to stay in the structure, while the middle levels will be converted into climate-controlled storage.

“There is definitely a need for that in our community,” Rahe said. “I hear from Realtors in the area they get a lot of requests for that.”

She added that the upper level will be converted into “spacious apartments” with east-facing balconies.

Over the course of more than a week, the developer of the project, Ron White, did not respond to requests for comment via phone or email.

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