May 1, 2018

Main Street Iowa Award Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements

By Scott Tunnicliff
Hilltop Campus Village
(563) 370-2098

Over 500 people from across the State of Iowa braved the elements Friday and gathered at Hoyt-Sherman Place in Des Moines to honor outstanding examples of restoration, redevelopment and creative reuse. Those attending were volunteers of various Main Street Iowa programs and included a delegation from Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village (HCV), which this year was nominated in three specific categories among the eighteen for which awards were given.

Hoyt Sherman Place
in Des Moines

In addition, the Annual Leadership Award is given to persons nominated by their Board
of Directors. This year’s winner for the Award was Kelly Young of Russell Development. She has served actively as the HCV Vice-President, the Chair of its Organization Committee, and the coordinator of both the HCV Annual meeting and preparation of its Annual Report to Main Street Iowa.

“It’s a special thrill to be given this award” said Ms. Young, “not only to receive it personally from Governor Kim Reynolds and James Engle (Director of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center), but also to see other recipients from towns of all sizes and the efforts they are putting in. It is an amazing celebration of volunteerism and leadership.”

from left: Scott Tunnicliff, Governor Kim Reynolds, Davenport Leadership Award winner Kelly Young, and Jim Engle, Director of Iowa Downtown Resource Center

Projects large and small are recognized as outstanding examples of what historic commercial district revitalization is all about. This year, it was especially competitive, with 18 projects selected to be recognized from 117 competitive nominations submitted. “It is always a competitive process” according to Chris Meyer the HCV Promotions Chair who was part of the delegation. “You have to provide good sharp photography covering multiple phases of the project, that ties in to a compelling narrative. This year we felt good about our nominees and, although none were judged the winner, all were strong contenders deserving of serious consideration.”

Awards were also given for reaching investment milestones. Last year, the Hilltop Campus Village was recognized for reaching its $50 million milestone. The next one will be at the $100 million level and that is a goal of the HCV.

“Next year will be our 10th anniversary, so we anticipate recognition for that” says Scott Tunnicliff, HCV Director, “We also will have several strong contenders and will continue working to encourage private sector reinvestment.”

The three nominees put forward by the Hilltop Campus Village were:

Terrific Total Building Rehabilitation:

From Bar to Books – The Brewed Book;

New/Infill Construction Project:

501 Brady/Newbury Living;

Partner of the Year:

Davenport Electric Contracting Company.

“We have been told the categories will be the same next year, and we are already looking for other projects to be nominated, Said Board President Robert E. Lee. “There is a lot of value going to this, seeing what other communities are doing. It is inspiring to see some of the turnouts, particularly among the smaller communities.”

The Davenport Group outside of Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines – From left: Scott Tunnicliff, Christopher Meyer, Kelly Young, Eloise Graham, Bob Lee

Eloise Graham has pretty near always attended the ceremony, both in her capacity as a member of the HCV Promotions Work Group and because her late husband Jim was a strong advocate for
the establishment of the Hilltop Campus Village nearly a decade ago. “Seeing so many people from so many communities makes you really feel great about Iowa, and also what a difference volunteering can make in a community.”

Since 1986, local Main Street Iowa programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, resulting in:

  • The inception of 4,670 new businesses and a net gain of 14,348 jobs.
  • Nearly 12,000 building projects reported
  • A total of $1.85 billion in private investment

For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the IDRC, visit, email, or call (515) 348-6184.

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