Progress Business and Industry

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Smitty’s Greenhouse co-owner Jon Baedke, right, along with manager Rick Lamoureux work on stocking the newly enlarged tree and shrubbery area at the garden center.

East side commercial area booming

The multitude of businesses that are located on or near Fifth Avenue South — the city’s Corridor of Commerce — continues to grow. There have also been major developments regarding enterprises that have been part of this booming venue for some time. Here are some of the ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Kingsgate Insurance President Ed Smith, at left, stops to chat with vice presidents Ryan Smith and Denise Smith on the landing of the stairs leading to their offices. The agency moved into remodeled offices at 924 Central Ave. in downtown Fort Dodge in 2016.

Downtown Fort Dodge Renaissance

Fort Dodge’s downtown business district was once the heart of commerce in the community. After decades in the doldrums, Central Avenue and nearby venues are experiencing a significant renaissance. This retail revival features an array of small shops, many of which are unique, heartfelt ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

ABOVE: Attorney Mark Crimmins studies one of the hundreds of law books in the collection in the new offices of the Crimmins Law Firm. & Livingston. It is located at 706 First Ave. N. in downtown Fort Dodge.

The face of downtown changes

New businesses are just one indicator that at community — or a commercial district — is vibrant. Positive changes in existing enterprises also demonstrate positive change. Downtown Fort Dodge has seen a major influx of new commercial ventures in the last several years. During 2016, ...

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

Derek Sweeney, a store employee, reaches for some diamond fashion rings at the newly opened Kay Jewelers in Fort Dodge recently. Sweeney, of Manson, began working at the store when it opened Nov. 11, 2016.

Corridor of Commerce Thriving

The strategy of upgrading Fifth Avenue South — the city’s Corridor of Commerce — to attract new businesses to the community and encourage enterprises that are already here to expand continues. The number of businesses that have opened their doors on Fifth Avenue South continues to ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

The large rocks used to stabilize the hill in Snell-Crawford Park are moved up the slope in a relay from the bottom using three excavators working together. The first dumps the rocks into the bin, then the second scoops them out of the bin and dumps them near the top for third machine to place.

Fort Dodge infrastructure Improvements

Fort Dodge officials have a full slate of infrastructure improvements scheduled for 2017. That workload will follow a busy 2016 construction season which saw the completion of the downtown part of the First Avenue South crosstown connector and some other projects. The reconstruction of ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

The Webster County Road P59 and U.S. Highway 20 junction is one of the areas where the Iowa Department of Transportation did summer paving work. Further west, the remaining miles of U.S. 20 are about to be finished.

U.S. 20: Four lanes at last

Nearly 50 years of work to make U.S. Highway 20 a four-lane route all across Iowa is scheduled to conclude next year when the last sections are finished in Sac, Ida and Woodbury counties. And the work may be finished two months earlier than planned, according to an Iowa Department of ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

The Warden Plaza, along with its reflection in a pool of meltwater atop a roof across the street, is shown on an overcast winter day. A project to rehabilitate the former hotel, apartments and shops is in the works.

The Warden: New future dawning

The Warden Plaza was a vast empty hulk in the middle of downtown Fort Dodge for about a decade. It’s still empty, but that may be changing and changing quickly. In the space of a few months in the second half of 2016, the city government acquired the building at 908 First Ave. S. and ...

Greater FD Growth Alliance: Growing the area

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance exists to pursue economic development and quality of life efforts to improve the entire region. Dennis Plautz, the alliance’s chief executive officer, said it was created in 2011 to ‘‘marry up’’ the twin causes of economic development and ...

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari

Stefanie Koenig, regional director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, looks over a folder of materials in her office. Koenig said the SBDC had a successful year in 2016 and is looking forward to new changes in 2017.

North Central Small Business Development Center: Successful year

Coming off a successful year, the North Central Small Business Development Center is looking to offer additional services in 2017. Stefanie Koenig, regional director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, said there were a number of highlights for the center in ...

FD Regional Airport: Third destination

The Fort Dodge Regional Airport is flying high with Air Choice One as its carrier. Since taking over Feb. 23, 2015, Air Choice one has doubled the amount of passengers that Great Lakes Airlines were able to produce in 2013, according to Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation. Great Lakes ...

Top commercial projects: Where money is spent

Here’s a list of the Top 10 commercial building projects that were started in Fort Dodge during 2016, based upon the value of the project. The data was provided by the city’s Engineering, Business Affairs and Community Growth Department.

-Submitted graphic

Three metal banners like those shown in this illustration will be placed in the center of the roundabout intersection at First Avenue South and Sixth Street. However, the low brick wall that forms a circle around the base of the banners in the illustration will not be built.

Crosstown connector: Completed

Two years of downtown road construction wrapped up last year, yielding a new way for drivers to cross from one side of Fort Dodge to the other on First Avenue South. Eastbound cars and trucks can now come over the Karl King Viaduct on Second Avenue South, turn onto First Avenue South at ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen  Decker Truck Line Inc. Chairman of the Board Don Decker, center, cuts the ribbon for the Decker Development Park on the east side of Fort Dodge. The site has over 100 acres of land available for commercial development.

Decker Development Park: 2016 debut

A few years ago, Fort Dodge officials and local economic development leaders were facing a dilemma. They were getting more and more inquiries from industrial companies interested in coming to Fort Dodge, but there was almost no place where those companies could build. The solution was ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Dennis Plautz, CEO of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, center, watches a flag-raising ceremony as New Zealand-based Argenta celebrates its first day of business at the former Fort Dodge Laboratories Riverside plant.

AML Riverside exceeds jobs goal

The local community’s global presence in the animal pharmaceutical market grew in early 2016 with the arrival of a new company. AML Riverside LLC, a part of New Zealand based Argenta, took over the site commonly called the Riverside plant in January 2016. The company committed itself ...

CJ keeps making lysine, fertilizer; Cargill continues corn milling operation

CJ Bio America is entering its fourth year of producing lysine and fertilizer in Webster County. Those products are made in a plant in the industrial park west of Fort Dodge called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation. It opened in November 2013. About 190 people work there. The plant ...

Trinity at a glance — 2016

Editor’s note: This information was provided by UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge. January • UnityPoint Health Partners, the Accountable Care Organization of UnityPoint Health, was selected to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services new accountable care ...