New grant to help Clinton business-growth programs

CLINTON, Iowa — Two programs aimed at helping businesses grow and create jobs in the Clinton area are receiving grant money to expand their work.

A $38,856 grant from the Clinton County Development Association (CCDA) will be used to help the Clinton Culinary program and Makers on 5th business incubators expand into the new Wilson Lofts development.

Clinton Culinary will provide five business spaces for five culinary start-ups to open storefront spaces. Makers on 5th will provide six spaces for start-up retailers and small businesses. The grant money will help buy equipment for the programs. 

Both Clinton Culinary and Makers on 5th will be located on the ground floor of the Wilson Lofts at 210-217 5th Ave., Clinton.

The money was awarded to the Gateway Area Foundation and Wilson Lofts to support the business programs. 

Rock Island Economic Growth Corp., a non-profit organization based in Rock Island, broke ground in June on a $13.88 million project that will create Wilson Lofts, an apartment complex with the two business incubators on the ground floor. 

The massive renovation project centers on the historic Wilson Building built between 1912-1914. It was once home to the J.C. Penney department store, and other business offices in its upper floors.

The new Wilson Lofts will have 33 residential rental units offering two-story, townhome apartments and 504-square-feet lofts as well as the one- and two-bedroom rental units ranging from 660- to 1,330 square feet.

“The developer is investing nearly $14 million into the community and creating or supporting over 180 jobs through this redevelopment effort, many of which are from Clinton County,” Jeff Atkinson, chair of the Gateway Area Foundation, said in a news release.

The Wilson Lofts project is expected to be complete in June or July.

For more information on the Wilson Lofts rental units and/or the business programs, visit

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