EDA awards $3.1 million grant for more jobs and income for Marion, Illinois.

MARION, Ill. (KBSI) – The Marion Citadel building, home of EThOs (Entrepreneurial and Technical Opportunities) and the Vault Cafe was just awarded $3.1 million by the Economic Development Administration for a new redesign of the building.

The building was built in 1914. It started as a bank but has since been owned and renovated by multiple owners. The Watermark Auto Group Foundation is the latest to take ownership.

“So, the watermark auto group foundation had bought the building almost two years ago with a vision to build out the building to make it into a small business incubator, coworking spaces, a place for training and development…” explained Russell Williams, Director of EThOs.

The building is being used by two businesses on the first two levels. The funding grant will allow the renovation of the three upper levels.

“The first two floors of the citadel building has been finished but there’s three more floors about 12,000 ft.² that will be built in order to be the home for ethos entrepreneurial technical opportunity so will have more spaces,” continued Williams.

The upper-level expansion will also include an open hall room for private events, added offices for EThOs and access to the rooftop level for sightseeing.

The grant is estimated to bring in 150 new jobs and $750,000 of private investment to Marion.

“It’s basically for the community so that the community could develop new businesses and people could see Marion as a center for new businesses to get started and we would help them by providing services for them,” finished Williams.

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