COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — A vacant warehouse in Council Bluffs may find new life as an arts and entertainment center.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports ( ) that supporters of the project are raising money now with hopes of opening the center in late 2018.

Judy Davis, interim director of the Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment organization, says the project seems to be on schedule.

Plans call for the converted building to include a theater, rehearsal space, classrooms and space for traveling exhibits. The 245-seat theater would feature local plays, ballet and musical performances.

U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, toured the site last week and praised the project.

“I’m excited to see it come to fruition, and I’m confident it will,” Young said. “I believe in this community and the people pushing for this.”

Young said having a thriving arts district can help boost economic development by attracting new residents and more businesses.

The project would complement the nearby Harvester Lofts apartments that are geared toward the artistic community.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said painter and sculptor James Laurent, who lives in one of the artist lofts. “We have great space to live in, and the neighborhood is changing as there are many cultures now living here.”

Information from: The Daily Nonpareil,

VIAThe Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.