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Clear Lake purchases property for 'gateway feature'

Property located at Highway 18 and Buddy Holly Place will house welcome feature to Surf District

Posted: Mar. 16, 2018 7:54 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The City of Clear Lake is adding another part to an overall project on revitalizing the Surf District.

Earlier this month, the city purchased a house on the southwest corner of Highway 18 and Buddy Holly Place for $29,000, with plans to demolish the house and place a gateway or welcome feature to welcome visitors to the Surf District, the neighborhood surrounding the historic Surf Ballroom.

Laurie Lietz, the Executive Director of the Surf Ballroom, is excited for what the city has in store.

"This is another great step for the city to improve one of the blighted gateways into the community," Lietz says.

The revitalization efforts for the area began in 2009, with the city purchasing and remodeling dilapidated buildings and adding landscape features.

"They've worked very hard to purchase properties and make them into a more appealing and culturally inviting place for people to be at," Lietz adds.

But the project as a whole is far from over, says council member Bennett Smith.

"We want to continue to work on our long term plan of redeveloping and improving [the Surf District]. There will be other things that we are looking to do to improve that because, from an economic development standpoint, and drawing more tourists in, it's really very crucial for us and an exciting project, frankly," Smith says.

Currently, the city only plans to demolish the house in the immediate future. Design plans and completion dates are to be determined.

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