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City leaders to meet with developer about future of St. Joseph’s Square project

After the demolition of St. Joseph’s hospital in the summer of 2019, the lot has stood vacant....
After the demolition of St. Joseph’s hospital in the summer of 2019, the lot has stood vacant. But now, Ottumwa city leaders and Blackbird Investments are working toward a groundbreaking.
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - After the demolition of St. Joseph’s hospital in the summer of 2019, the lot has stood vacant. But now, Ottumwa city leaders and Blackbird Investments are working toward a groundbreaking.

Plans were in place for Blackbird to construct luxury townhomes in the old St. Joe’s lot. City officials were hoping that the new plan would boost area property values. But the project has been delayed for almost two years now. Ryan Doyle, of Blackbird, cited COVID-related uncertainty in the housing markets as a reason for that long delay.

Now, with the pandemic on the downswing, Blackbird and the city of Ottumwa are planning a meeting to discuss the future of St. Joseph’s Square.

Blackbird told KYOU that it is looking forward to getting the project started. But Ottumwa City Administrator, Phillip Rath, has some doubts. He said he’s not sure if Blackbird will be able to meet some of the city’s building deadlines.

That meeting is scheduled for some time in the coming weeks. Blackbird is aiming to finally break ground in the summer of 2021.

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