“A big day for Fort Dodge” | News, Sports, Jobs
The city of Fort Dodge received a $ 17 million state grant on Friday that will help fund part of the redevelopment of the Crossroads Mall site into a diverse retail, service and entertainment area called Corridor Plaza.
The state money is specifically intended for the creation of a public plaza and pavilion near the south side of the property’s 25th Street. The developer and local leaders described the plaza and pavilion as a vibrant hub of activity for entertainment, dining and shopping.
“We are very excited,” said BJ Stokesbary, spokesperson for Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, the Ankeny company that is redeveloping the mall, on Friday afternoon.
“It’s going from a project that is a great concept and a great idea for Fort Dodge to something that will come true,” he said. “Now that we know we have the funding, we can really focus on the smallest details. “
Mayor Matt Bemrich said the grant award made Friday “a big day for Fort Dodge”.
“We have seen our retail environment evolve and we are working to adapt to that and I think the plan we have proposed has been recognized at the state level today,” he said.
As the project progresses, residents will “see new spaces that are fun to use and enjoy,” he said.
Advancing the project will also help the community recruit more retailers, according to Bemrich.
In February, city council requested an $ 18 million grant from the Iowa District Reinvestment Program offered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
In April, local authorities learned that the state agency had advanced the application for final review.
By securing $ 17 million of the $ 18 million requested, the local project received more of its requested amount than any of the other five projects that received funding on Friday. Stokesbary said he received the “highest allocation percentage”.
“Obviously, a lot of long hours went into the app,” Stokesbary said. “We appreciate everyone’s work on the app. We are super grateful.”
The grant announced Friday is technically an interim award, with the final decision to be made in February 2022. But since Iowa Economic Development Authority staff recommended a $ 17 million grant and the board has it. tentatively approved on Friday, local leaders and the developer are fully confident that the money will be awarded.
The proposed pavilion and plaza would be located on the west side of the Mall property, behind Sparkle Car Wash, Central Financial Group and Great Western Bank.
The south end of the pavilion building is said to have a handful of spaces for restaurants, cafes or breweries.
The northern half of the building would have more open space and overhead doors.
The plaza would be an outdoor public space and entertainment area just north of the pavilion. The concept includes pickleball courts, picnic shelters and an elevated, partially covered stage. A fountain or other body of water would be nearby.
Stokesbary said the awarding of the grant “speeds up the whole project” at the mall.
He said half of the remaining mall building and half of the Younkers store will be demolished this year.
What remains of the mall will fall next year, he said. Construction of the pavilion and the square will begin at the end of 2022.