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 Legacy Plaza

June 25, 2021 

Danielle Rogers 
Community Marketing Manager 
O: 641-792-6622 x 2316 C: 641-521-9328 


NEWTON, IOWA – Iowa Economic Development Authority announced today that the Newton Legacy Reinvestment District project was selected to receive a provisional award of 14 million dollars from the Iowa Reinvestment District Program. The partnership between Catalyst Development, Des Moines Area Community College, and the City of Newton will now submit a final application to the program. The provisional approval is 90% of the pre-application proposal request of $15,469,661. 

The pre-application window for the Iowa Reinvestment District Program was in February. IEDA received ten applications. An evaluation committee scored pre-applications using criteria in state administrative rules. Six community applications that received an average score of 70 or more presented their proposed projects to the IEDA board on April 30, which included Newton. The program has a $100 million allocation, and the IEDA board has until July 1, 2025, to make the final awards.  

"I'm thrilled that we were selected to submit a final application for the Iowa Reinvestment District Program," stated Mayor Michael L. Hansen. "The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District will transform our community. Not only at Legacy Plaza and in downtown Newton, but throughout the community, through public and private partnerships.” 

"Our plans in the district advance the concept of "reinvention through rehabilitation" that has been at the forefront of Newton's forward progress for many years," continued Hansen. "The District will also build a vibrant model for rural redevelopment throughout the State of Iowa. We know this project will provide solutions that small towns and cities across Iowa can replicate to solve their communities' problems. We are grateful to Catalyst Development and DMACC for their persistence in the development of Legacy Plaza in partnership with the City of Newton."  

The District has three different projects: Catalyst Development's Residential & Hospitality Adaptive Reuse, DMACC's Destination Legacy Commons, and the City of Newton's Resiliency Zone. Components of the projects in the 74.85-acre district include market-rate apartments, a boutique hotel, gathering spaces such as 
Legacy Commons and Legacy Greenspace, academic program expansion, historic downtown improvement & housing grants, bike path connections, many infrastructure improvements, and much more.  

"I am grateful to the IEDA Board for supporting this project that promises to transform Newton," said Angela Harrington of Catalyst Development. "The former Maytag Corporation headquarters, which is the center of Catalyst's development project, repurposed as a hotel, event center, pedestrian dining, and entertainment destination as well as affordable housing, is going to be one incredible project." 

The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District represents the beginning of a new chapter for Newton, with the threads of rehabilitation, determination, and resiliency woven into the story of rural renaissance and resilience. The District will provide many opportunities for engagement for visitors and residents of various economic backgrounds, ages, and interests for years to come. The impact on community quality of life and visitor experience afforded by the aggregate of these projects is significant.  

“We are grateful for the confidence that the Iowa Economic Development Board has shown in our project,” stated Joe Pugel, chairperson of the DMACC Board of Trustees. “The funding from the Iowa Reinvestment District program will allow us to turn our vision for Newton and Legacy Plaza into a reality that many generations will enjoy for years to come.”  

“DMACC is very proud to be a full partner with the City of Newton in all they do,” added Rob Denson, president of DMACC. 
For an executive summary of the Newton Legacy District project, visit: 


​Revitalization through Rehabilitation: Newton Legacy Reinvestment District

Once a company town, Newton is establishing a new identity in a post-Maytag era. Since the company’s departure in 2007, Newton has worked on economic recovery through a housing crisis, natural disasters, and a pandemic. The City of Newton in partnership with Des Moines Area Community College and Catalyst Development is making application for a State of Iowa Reinvestment District designation.


The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District will transform Newton’s Downtown through intentional investment, both public and private, which will build vibra​ncy and establish a model for rural redevelopment in the State of Iowa.

The District will achieve this end by elevating the experiential commercial uses (a necessity in the era of online shopping), creating a sustainable mixed-use neighborhood, knitting together two centrally located commercial nodes, enlivening vacant spaces, connecting recreation with commerce, and blending together education, business, and economic development.

The proposed district is 74.85 acres in size, just under the maximum allowed 75 acres. It includes Legacy Plaza/DMACC property, the Historic Newton Downtown, and a few properties along 1st Avenue East.


There are three distinct “projects” included in the Iowa Reinvestment District application:  Catalyst Development’s Residential & Hospitality Adaptive Reuse, City of Newton’s Resiliency Zone, and DMACC’s Destination Legacy Commons.  Catalyst Development Newton LLC: New Lessor: 

Residential & Hospitality Adaptive Reuse

  • Market Rate Apartments 
  • Boutique Hotel 
  • Craft Cocktail Lobby Bar  
  • Legacy Ballroom 

Des Moines Area Community College: New Retail: Destination Legacy Commons 

  • Legacy Plaza Infrastructure 
  • Legacy Commons 
  • Legacy Greenspace  
  • High-demand Academic Program Expansion 

City of Newton:  The Resiliency Zone 

  • Historic Downtown Improvement and Housing Grants 
  • Vacant Building Initiative 
  • Downtown Splash Pad Park 
  • Bike Path Connector 
  • Infrastructure Improvements 

The efforts by the Newton team are unique in the comprehensive approach to transform the city’s urban form, attract new residents and visitors by showcasing the community’s assets and heritage in an authentic way, and respond to changing economic realities. The success of the State of Iowa depends on the success of its rural communities, and The Newton Legacy Reinvestment District could serve as a future model for rural redevelopment and renaissance.  

If you want to join the Legacy Neighborhood, feel free to watch the video of the avai​lable spaces below.