Downtown Mason Mile Project
Where Progress and Nostalgia Meet


Our Downtown Mason Mile will be a refreshed, healthy, and vibrant regional heart - where we will honor our past while we build into the future TOGETHER.

  • Community led and market driven

  • Honors our history while building into our future

  • Fresh, healthy, and sustainable live, work, and play character

A better Mason Mile and MADE Region for ALL!


Progress Updates

Check out the MADECDC Facebook page or join the Downtown Mason Mile Project group for the latest news on this project. 

November 14, 2022 - The November 2022 update for the Downtown Committee of Council and Mason City Council can be found HERE.

October 13, 2022 - The letter to Mason City Council on the selection of the firms for the Grant Funding Agreement (Ordinance 2022-70) including an update on progress of the agreement and the firm evaluation criteria matrix can be found HERE. 

September 12, 2022 - The September 2022 update for the Downtown Committee of Council and Mason City Council can be found HERE. 

August 8, 2022 - The August 2022 update for the Downtown Committee of Council and Mason City Council can be found HERE.


July 11, 2022 - MADECDC has committed to provide regular updates on progress to the Downtown Committee of Council and Mason City Council on a monthly basis. The July 2022 update can be found HERE. 

June 28, 2022 - MADECDC is seeking proposals from qualified firms for professional planning services, community engagement and facilitation, and marketing and placebranding to complete a robust community engagement process to inform the development of a conceptual master development plan for the Mason Mile.  Interested firms can find the RFP and scope of work HERE.  Note: Deadline has been extended to Friday, July 22.

June 13, 2022 - Mason City Council authorized a grant funding agreement between the City of Mason and MADECDC related to the Mason Mile project. Information on Ordinance 2022-70 and the Mason Mile Project can be found HERE. 

Project Rationale

Timing is right for this project because stakeholder interests are aligned.  Property owners want a stronger real estate market, business owners see an opportunity for increased business with a vibrant downtown, city government wants a flourishing downtown, and MADECDC is in a position to coordinate the project.  Previous downtown projects have fallen short of expectations because of economic factors, lack of direction and leadership, and lack of a unified goal. These areas will all be prioritized in our ten plus year planning horizon. 

Project Vision

A vibrant, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed use, cultural, civic and social heart of the MADE Region.


Through an innovative partnership between the private and public sectors and led by MADECDC, the Downtown Mason Mile will be refreshed with an assortment of fresh, healthy, sustainable offerings resulting in:

  • Clearly defined boundaries of a downtown area that promotes the Mason and regional brand

  • Density sufficient to support downtown commerce

  • Increased property values and diverse housing offerings to stimulate downtown migration

  • Regional, local and specialty retail, dining and entertainment

  • Culture & arts hub

  • Long-term plan for maintenance and a coordinated infrastructure: utilities, transit, parking, streets, safety and cleanliness

  • New jobs, employment volume and variety to attract business and talent

  • Increased community connections, health and education

Project Approach

MADECDC is uniquely suited to the crucial role of representing, coordinating and communicating the non-partisan interests of the general public across organizational and governmental boundaries. MADECDC’s primary strategy is community development and desires a region where residents, business owners, private and public property owners and institutions of every kind prosper.

MADECDC’s approach involves placemaking and partnership, maintaining respect for the region’s heritage and history while continuing to move forward. This project is seeking long-term change for the region with visible changes coming in the next five years. Since public participation and support is crucial, MADECDC will act as an interface for stakeholders and the general public.


  • Maintain a public webpage to show progress and engage the community;

  • Track opinions, proposals and progress and share with all parties;

  • Lead the planning, organizing and communication of programs and projects that support our priorities and fit with our current focus;

  • Help the community identify, plan and coordinate goals, tasks, roles and the resources necessary to achieve them.

Project Focus Areas

To achieve a vibrant, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed use, cultural, civic and social heart of the MADE Region, MADECDC will focus on the following:

  • Historic building rehab/preservation

  • Parking plan & structures

  • Multi-unit residential

  • Multi-story, mixed use retail/office

  • Local dining/entertainment

  • Community connections, healthy living programs and events

Project Goals

Built from the foundational goals established by the MADE Chamber Downtown Committee in 2018, we have evolved these goals to guide the tasks necessary to continue on momentum.

  1. Collaboration: Foster a spirit of support to achieve maximum impact

  2. Governing: Advance cross-organizational policies that foster support public and private investment

  3. Branding: Implement a brand that supports and promotes business growth

  4. Experiences: Partner on select impactful events that draw people to community gathering spaces

  5. Wellness & Resiliency: Promote resilience, healthy living by educating residents

  6. (Re)Development: Enhance downtown appearance, bolster lagging real estate market, create jobs, increase residency, promote commerce

Project Resources

  • Investments by private individuals and institutions

  • Loans or gifts from private individuals or organizations

  • Fee and/or profit-generating activities and projects

  • Publicly owned assets including land and buildings

  • Public agency loans and grants

  • Tax incentives from government