Downey investor in legal trouble over Iowa real estate

Photo via Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Photo via Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

DOWNEY -- A Downey man who purchased an investment property in Waterloo, Iowa is facing legal action after failing to pay property taxes and allowing the historic property to fall into disrepair, a newspaper reported.


According to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Henry L.N. Anderson, of Downey, acquired the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School property in 2006 at a purchase price of $475,000.


Anderson told the newspaper he viewed the acquisition as “an opportunity to save this property from developers and revive it by running community-based programs and services funded out of the Governor’s Office and locally.” 


Anderson purchased the property using his grandchildren’s education fund, he said. 


“Within months I had put nearly $600,000 into the property, but no funded programs were coming from the Governor’s Office and nothing from the other offices either.” 


City officials alleged Anderson has failed to pay accumulated property taxes and code enforcement assessments. The property has since fallen into disrepair.


Last week, Waterloo’s city attorney filed an action in Black Hawk County District Court seeking to take possession of the property. If successful, the city plans to tear down the former rectory and increase the height of a creek levee. 


The rest of the property may be demolished, the newspaper reported. 


The church is listed as one of Iowa’s most endangered historic structures as it was once home to the Sullivan brothers, a group of five brothers who died during World War II.