Possible $30M revival in the works

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Maytag’s original Newton, Iowa, headquarters may be getting a new lease on life. 

According to a news report by Des Moines TV station KCCI Channel 8, there’s a plan in place to convert the company’s original red brick factory buildings, Nos. 1 and 2, into a hotel and apartment complex.

The $30 million reboot could come to fruition as early as next year, a county official said, giving the former manufacturing facility its first new function since Whirlpool acquired Maytag in 2006.

Although the local community college and several area businesses occupy the campus’s newer offices, the city has long been searching for a way to develop the two historic buildings. Under the plan, the century-old structures would remain the same on the outside to maintain their industrial look, although the south building would be sectioned into 58 apartments and the north building would become a hotel. Both would retain some of the factories’ historic design elements.

Artist’s concept of the north building hotel

“Downtowns are the heart of small-town Iowa and so as long as we can bring people and vibrancy to this campus, we are going to bring people and vibrancy to our whole downtown,” said Erin Chambers, director of Newton economic development.

Whirlpool bought the storied business 17 years ago for $2.6 billion after overcoming federal regulatory hurdles. Following a rocky start, the manufacturer ultimately integrated Maytag and its Jenn-Air and Amana divisions into its burgeoning brand family.

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