FD council anticipating project at Crossroads Mall

Site added to renewal area

Fort Dodge officials are preparing for the possibility of a future project at Crossroads Mall.

The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to add the mall property to the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area.

That move makes it possible to use tax increment financing to support a project there. Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.

No one representing the mall addressed the council Monday, and the elected officials did not discuss the matter before approving it.

Following the meeting, Mayor Matt Bemrich said, ”I’m of the belief that we’ll have a project, something coming up in the near future.”

He said he did not know exactly what the project would be.

In July, the council added the site of the old Sears store to the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area. The Sears store appears to be part of the mall, but it is a separate parcel with a different owner.

Under a proposal submitted to the council in May, up to $397,595 in tax increment financing money would be used to reimburse the Sears building owner, Blessing Enterprises, of St. Charles, Missouri, for demolishing the structure which has been vacant since the store closed in January 2015. However, Blessing Enterprises will only get the money if it builds something on the site that generates property tax revenue.