Fort Dodge council commits to mall project
Existing mall to be replaced with stores, apartments, hotel
The Fort Dodge City Council on Monday committed to providing up to $18.2 million to a project that will result in the Crossroads Mall being demolished and replaced with a series of retail buildings, office space and a hotel.
With no debate, the council voted to approve a development agreement with Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny. Councilman Terry Moehnke was absent from the otherwise unanimous vote.
No one addressed the council before the vote.
The agreement commits the city government to providing up to $18.2 million for the project to reimburse the developer for property acquisition, demolition, cleanup and infrastructure improvements.
Of that total, up to $10 million would be in the form of a grant, while up to $8.2 million would be in the form of a loan.
The money would come from tax increment financing, not the general fund that pays for police and fire protection, plus dozens of other government functions. Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.
”A public private partnership is the only feasible method for a redevelopment of this magnitude in a market the size of Fort Dodge,” Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development manager, wrote in a report to the council.
She wrote that the developer is requesting the city’s financial help ”in order to keep the selling price of the lots in a range that will be acceptable to the Fort Dodge market.”
The agreement requires the developer to purchase the mall by March 15. It also requires the developer to demolish the building by Dec. 31, 2024.
The proposed purchase and redevelopment of the mall site was announced in November.
Since then, Crossroads Plaza Development LLC has purchased the former Sears store at the south end of the mall from Blessing Enterprises, of St. Charles, Missouri, for $1,435,000. That building was leveled by the end of November.
The firm will buy the mall from Namdar Realty Group, Mason Asset Management and CH Capital, all of Great Neck, New York, for $3.3 million.
The mall will remain open long enough to allow stores there a chance to find a new location, then it will be demolished.
The new plan calls for 11 retail buildings, and six mixed-use buildings that will have retail on the first floor and apartments on the second floor.
A 59,000-square-foot medical or office building is also planned.
Additionally in the plan is a five-story hotel.
A green space with perhaps a large fountain will be in the middle of the site.
A new section of South 27th Street will run through the site.