Fulton Group Raising Money To Restore Downtown - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Fulton Group Raising Money To Restore Downtown

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A group of Fulton investors are trying to raise 100-thousand dollars to continue their downtown revitalization efforts.

The Fulton Retail Development Group has restored two buildings in the village and is working on a third.

They want to attract a new restaurant in town.

The group bought a set of two buildings last month, a former pharmacy and ice cream shop, that already has a small kitchen and handicap accessible restrooms in place.

They just need to replace the roof and find an interested chef, but they believe their development model works.

"You can really judge a small town by its main street and I think we're doing quite well," says group president Charles Dykstra. He says they gathered inspiration from Shullsburg, Wisconsin. A town with a wealthy resident who restored buildings and rented them back to businesses for a dollar.

"Maybe we can raise the money and that's how it all started," says Dykstra.

45 investors have seen the benefit of restoring downtown. After one retired couple decided to put their money into Fulton.

"(We) decided we were not spending our winters lying on a beach in Florida, this is home, how can we make this hometown critically viable," says Nancy Kolk.

She and her husband Ed planned to restore every building in town if they won the lottery... but they don't play, so

"We purchased the one we thought was the worst looking on Main Street," says Kolk.

Eventually restoring their buildings facade to the same condition as it's picture from 100 years ago. When Kolk's grandfather parked his ice wagon in front of it.

"I'm so proud of the other building owners on Main Street who said we like how that looks let's repaint ours, let's add a new awning," says Kolk.

The Kolk's idea and the development group's cash have helped spur other property owners to restore their buildings. The development group wants to raise another 100-thousand dollars to support its efforts. Although Dykstra admits its not for someone looking to make fast cash.

"We just give them an additional investment opportunity to put more in it so we can do more work, so there's a good chance if you invest in this group you'll never see a dividend," chuckled Dykstra.

The group plans to sell its newest building to the restaurant after a few years of rent payments.

Allowing it to get a loan after becoming established in the village.

It is seeking more investors.