DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A developer has bought a historic, crumbling former brewery in Dubuque with plans to save the local landmark that was once among the largest breweries in the country.

Cedar Rapids developer Steve Emerson bought a portion of the former headquarters of Dubuque Malting and Brewing Co. for $40,000 from previous owner Jim Krueger last week, the Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/2mQdq1U ) reported. Dubuque Malting once produced 300,000 barrels of beer a year.

Emerson's real estate agent, Keith Wiggins, has said his client plans a $15 million to $20 million investment to convert the 120-year-old building into apartments. Krueger said Friday that the figure now stands at $28 million.

The newspaper couldn't reach Emerson for comment.

Krueger purchased the property in June 2005, for $35,000. Court records and engineering reports show the building suffered multiple structure collapses last year and is at risk of further collapse.

"The main concern is the stabilization of the building right away and removing the middle section that's collapsed," said Todd Carr, Dubuque's building services manager. "And once that's completed. ... we'll establish a development plan for the property."

Emerson is "enthusiastic" about the prospect of redeveloping the property but is still weighing his options, said Maurice Jones, city economic development director.

"And we stand ready to assist him in any way we can," Jones said.

The city said Emerson has inquired about possible loans, grants or other financing from the city, but that nothing has been finalized.

Emerson is president of architecture and design firm Aspect Inc., which is involved in a planned $15 million redevelopment of the Smulekoff's building in downtown Cedar Rapids. The building will be transformed into office and retail space, along with more than 30 apartments.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com