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FD businessman plans to develop McGregors building downtown

‘With Central Avenue making a resurgence, I want to be part of that’

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson A Fort Dodge businessman plans to develop the McGregors building at 712 Central Ave.

A Fort Dodge businessman plans to buy the McGregors furniture building and develop it into multiple retail stores to help revitalize downtown Fort Dodge.

McGregors Furniture & Mattress announced the closure of its Fort Dodge store in February.

Dave Madsen told The Messenger that he has a contract in place to purchase that property, located at 712 Central Ave.

Its net assessed value is $408,310, according to online records. It encompasses 16,800 square feet.

Madsen anticipates closing on the property in the next couple of months, he said.

Between four and six spaces could be available for rent inside the large downtown building.

“My intention is to turn it into several retail spaces,” Madsen said. “I am hoping to make them flow from one to the other without having to go outside to get to the other spaces.”

A timeline on the renovations is not yet available.

Madsen said the move fits well with his business plan.

“With Central Avenue making a resurgence, I want to be part of that and help that,” he said.

He hopes to remodel the structure to fit the needs of potential businesses moving in.

“The building is very beautiful and very historic,” Madsen said. “Before they bricked over it, it was actually four different buildings.”

A commons area near the elevator is also planned.

“I don’t plan on renting the other floors too much other than for storage and things like that,” he said.

Madsen owns Lifestyle Furnishings, a furniture store located at 611 Central Ave. He said Lifestyle Furnishings will not move from its current location.

The downtown area is a great opportunity for young businesses, in particular, he said.

“I think a lot of small businesses start downtown because the square footage price is quite a bit less than what it would be along Fifth Avenue South,” he said. “That’s where people start, is in those properties that aren’t so high.”

In terms of parking meters, Madsen doesn’t see that as a problem for business.

“I would say we will probably have a bucket of nickels for anyone who wants to come in and wants to shop with us,” he said. “A nickel buys you 15 minutes, I think. That’s plenty of time to come in and start looking anyways. They need a dime, we’ll give them a dime.”

Madsen grew up outside of Fort Dodge. He attended school in Barnum.

He started Lifestyle Furnishings from the basement of his house. It has been in business for about 25 years.

“We grew that business, and over the years I have been collecting commercial real estate,” he said. “I am enjoying the commercial real estate market.”

Madsen oversees Lifestyle Furnishings, but no longer runs the day-to-day operation, he said.

He said he owns various properties in Des Moines. He also owns properties in Calhoun and Ida counties.

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