Downtown Revitalization Loan Program (DoRL)

Mason City Downtown Revitalization Loan Program (DoRL)


The Downtown Revitalization Loan Program (DoRL) is an extension of the successful Corridor Revitalization Loan (CoRL) Program. Similar to CoRL, the DoRL Program assists business property owners in Downtown Mason City to rehabilitate buildings, update facades, and bring new vitality to Downtown. Eligible properties are zoned Z5, Central Business District (plus a few on the north edge of the area not zoned Z5; see map below). If you are unsure if your property is eligible, contact the Development Services Department.

PROPERTY ELIGIBILITY: Owners of commercial, mixed-use, and duplex/multi-family properties within the designated district (see map). An owner may apply on behalf of tenants. Property tax-exempt properties and single family dwellings are not eligible.

LOAN AMOUNT: Up to $30,000, matched dollar-for-dollar by the applicant. The match may consist of cash supplied by the applicant, or from a bank, grants or other financing sources.

LOAN FORGIVENESS: The loan is forgiven at a rate of 1/84th of the total principal per month and is totally forgiven after 84 months (seven years). The owner must maintain the improvements during the entire loan forgiveness period. Ownership may be transferred during the loan forgiveness period; the new owner must sign a promissory note and assume a mortgage for the loan balance.

DEFAULT: Failure to maintain the improvements during the loan forgiveness period results in repayment of the entire un-forgiven loan balance, plus interest accrued at a rate of 4 percent.

USE OF FUNDS: Funds may be used for either exterior or interior improvements; however, interior improvements generally must focus on making a building saleable or leasable. Exterior improvements must meet Z5 requirements for materials; historic facades shall be maintained to the degree possible. Approved projects must result in an increase in assessed value, add to the value of Downtown, and improve Downtown aesthetics.

OTHER FINANCING: Applicants are required to provide matching funds from other sources. The City will accept a subordinate position if the applicant is also entering into a mortgage loan from a financial institution.

PROCESS: 1) The owner completes the application materials, providing plans in sufficient detail to show the planned improvements. Contractor estimates and proof of matching funds shall be provided. 2) The application is reviewed by the City Assessor to determine if the potential tax revenue from the improvements justify the City loan.  3) The application is reviewed by the Loan Review Committee, The applicant meets with the Committee to discuss the project and negotiate the amounts used for the interior or exterior. 4) Loans recommended for approval by the Committee must be approved by the City Council. 5) If approved, the applicant must enter into a Forgivable Loan Agreement with the City. 6) Funds are disbursed when improvements are complete and accepted by the City. The applicant must accept a mortgage for the value of the loan and sign a promissory note. The 7-year forgiveness period begins on the date the loan is disbursed.

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS: The City retains the right to inspect the improvements upon completion to ensure that they are completed in accordance with the Forgivable Loan Agreement. In addition, the City may inspect any time during the loan forgiveness period, after providing at least 48 hours’ notice, to insure that the improvements are being maintained.

APPLICATION: Application materials are available from the Development Services Department or at this link: 

DoRL Application

DoRL Program Outline

eligible key

See Property Eligibility criteria, above. To positively determine if a property is eligible, contact the Development Services Department.

Development Services Dept.
City of Mason City 
(641) 421-3626

The Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center - Small Business Development Center
North Iowa Area Community College
(641) 422-4111

Iowa Economic Development Authority
(515) 725-3000