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Transformation

Outdoor entertainment area proposed at mall site; city to seek $18M for project

-Submitted image
The proposed plaza and pavilion area at Corridor Plaza are shown in this image. On the left are pickleball courts and a picnic shelter. A partially covered stage is to the right. The building on the far right would have eating establishments on one side and bigger open spaces behind overhead doors on the other. The plaza and pavilion would be on the west side of the former Crossroads Mall property. The Fort Dodge City Council on Monday will consider applying for $18 million in state aid for the project.

During a future afternoon at Corridor Plaza, a group of friends could be playing pickleball while, not far away, a band could be playing on a stage. Meanwhile, shoppers could be checking out all the good things to eat at a farmers market set up in a building. And if it’s a warm day, there just might be some kids splashing in a nearby water feature.

A pavilion and plaza that has been newly proposed would make all that possible on the Crossroads Mall property that is being converted to the multi-use area to be known as Corridor Plaza.

The plan offers an opportunity to do something ”transformative” at the site, according to BJ Stokesbary, a spokesman for Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny. That firm owns the site.

”We want to reinvent what the mall meant to Fort Dodge,” he said. ”That’s our big push.”

The proposal represents an evolution of the original plan introduced by Crossroads Plaza Development, and would take the place of some of the originally proposed retail and mixed use buildings.

-Submitted image
This water feature would be near the proposed pavilion and plaza area at Corridor Plaza. This image shows the view looking west toward the plaza and pavilion. The plaza would have pickleball courts, a picnic shelter and a stage.

The proposed pavilion and plaza would be on the west side of the mall property, behind a car wash, Central Financial Group and Great Western Bank.

Stokesbary said the south end of the pavilion building would have a handful of spaces for restaurants, coffee shops, or brew pubs.

The north half of the building, he said, would have more open space and overhead doors. It would be an area where a farmers market could be set up.

The plaza would be an outdoor public space and entertainment area just north of the pavilion. The concept for the area includes pickleball courts, picnic shelters, plus a raised and partially covered stage.

On Monday, the Fort Dodge City Council will consider applying for $18 million in state assistance to make the pavilion and plaza project possible.

That money would come from the Iowa Reinvestment District Program offered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. According to the authority, the program is designed to assist communities in developing transformative projects that improve the quality of life, create and enhance unique opportunities and substantially benefit the community, region and state.

The state program is financed by state hotel/motel tax and sales tax revenue.

Local officials will learn in May or June if the application has won preliminary approval and will be considered for funding.

The transformation of Crosswords Mall began in late 2019, when the old Sears store was demolished. Last year the former JC Penney store was razed.

A new UnityPoint Health — Clinic Express is under construction near First Avenue South and 29th Street. A new Discount Tire store is under construction on the south end of the property. A gas station, hotel and a series of mixed use buildings housing stores, offices and apartments are also planned. A section of the mall where Younkers used to be located will remain and will be renovated for stores.

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