When the Iola square was originally developed in the late 1800’s, large masonry construction was used to accommodate a booming economy. These buildings were designed with aesthetics in mind, to draw citizens and travelers from afar, and built to last for centuries. As is the case with most small communities, over the last 100+ years our population has declined and years ago the upstairs of these buildings were abandoned in a large part due to ADA compliance. With this abandonment, it meant the downstairs retailer would be responsible for the overhead of these entire, monstrous buildings, all on their own. These expenses such as maintenance, insurance, taxes, and utilities created a financial strain on the downstairs businesses and ultimately made it difficult for businesses to survive on the square. With our founders’ dreams of the town square being the cornerstone of our community, a group of local investors began rehabilitating the upstairs of these buildings, in hopes of spreading out this financial burden among multiple units. This would in turn lower the overhead on the downstairs businesses, while also helping with another need that this community was starving for – short term lodging. Within a few short years, eight high-end lofts have been constructed gaining raving reviews from travelers with Iola as their destination. Also, the southeast corner of the Iola Square is now 100% occupied by retail businesses, in large part thanks to the reduced rent as allowed by the upstairs once again generating revenue.