Burlington's historic Tama Building to be demolished after devastating August fire

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - The historic Tama building in downtown Burlington will be coming down.

The decision by developer Doug Wells was announced by city staff during a city council meeting on Monday evening. Wells originally told TV6 on September 21st that he did not want to tear down the building.

The Tama project was part of a $12-million restoration in the heart of Burlington’s downtown which included loft style apartments and retail space. The project was partially funded by a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

City Council was told Monday that Wells will be meeting with the Authority next week to discuss plans and ideas for the site. The meeting will also include talks on how the grant funds will be used.

G&B Construction has been secured to complete the demolition of the building, pending approval of a final contract.

The historic building caught fire on August 4th and burned for hours. The building previously caught fire in 2009.

The fire chief said in August the fire started in the Eastman building and then spread to the Chittenden. Investigators have identified the area of origin for the fire and continue to work through the many possibilities of how the fire started. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company is now offering up to $10,000 for credible information to assist in identifying the cause of the fire.

City staff said Wells is currently in the process of meeting with downtown business owners to discuss design ideas. Wells is expected to be back at the December 10 city council meeting to provide an update.