When The Davenport building in Davenport, IA collapsed in May 2023, it put city officials in every major/micro metropolitan in the country on high alert when it came to addressing the condition of some of their oldest structures. Three months later, the City of Dubuque is taking a proactive approach to one of their oldest landmarks.

The former Dubuque Malting & Brewing Company Building at 3000 Jackson Street has been standing for 128 years, but its condition is rapidly deteriorating. Per KCRG and the Telegraph Herald, several homeowners and business owners near the historic building voiced concerns over its structural integrity.

Photo Credit: Google Street View
Photo Credit: Google Street View

The Building Has Multiple Glaring Hazards:

Dubuque Assistant Housing Director Michael Belmont stated that letters had been sent to people in a 110-foot radius of the Dubuque Malting and Brewing building last week as a precautionary measure. They also sent a notice to the building's owner, Steve Emerson, in June to conduct a structural evaluation. With no response, the city had no choice but to hire its own contractor to assess the building.

The city's appointed contractor pointed out 10 areas of concern, including bulging walls, cracks, deteriorating bricks and mortar, and missing roofing tiles that raise concern over the possibility the building or a portion of it could collapse, per KCRG.

What Streets Have Been Closed?:

The City of Dubuque has also closed Jackson Street to thru traffic between East 29th and East 32nd streets until further notice.

A Re-Development Was Once Planned:

In 2018, Dubuque City Council announced that it consider a proposal to provide $2.5 million in incentives to improve the building. Also discussed was pledging a grant of $850,000 (near the purchase-price Emerson paid in 2017) via the Downtown Housing Creation Program in effort to create at least seventy-five apartment units and a brand new façade for the building.

Per Encyclopedia Dubuque, the development plan called for no less than 80 apartments for market-rate rental and the second for at least 30 apartments for market-rate or affordable rental. At least 17,500 square feet of commercial space was also part of the agreement, as well as at least 194 parking spaces for tenants. Those plans obviously didn't come to fruition:

Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube
Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube

On February 7, 2022 the members of the city Council voted to approve a resolution canceling the agreement for the restoration of the building. City officials cited the developer for failing to meet project deadlines outlined in the original agreement and for failing to maintain the building which continued to deteriorate. - Encyclopedia Dubuque

In the meantime, Jackson Street will be closed to thru traffic between East 29th and East 32nd streets until further notice, and Emerson has 60 days to take corrective action.

Read more about the Dubuque Malting and Brewing Company building on Telegraph Herald.

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