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In quest for state funds, mall project advances

$18M wanted for pavilion, plaza

-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.

Live music, games like pickleball and just simply relaxing outdoors would all be possible in a plaza area envisioned as part of the redevelopment of Crossroads Mall.

The Fort Dodge city government, which is teaming up with the developer for the plaza project, is moving closer to securing millions of dollars from the state to make the concept a reality.

Local officials were informed Thursday morning that an application seeking $18 million was advanced for final consideration, according to Chad Schaeffer, the city’s chief development officer.

The final grant awards are expected to be announced next month.

”We’re just excited to move on,” Schaeffer said. ”We’re competing against some major projects in downtown Des Moines. We think our project is just as transformative for Fort Dodge and northwestern Iowa as these other projects are for the Des Moines area.”

That money would be the ”linchpin” for the plaza and pavilion project, said BJ Stokesbary, a spokesman for Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny.

That firm owns the mall and is converting it into a multi-use site to be called Corridor Plaza..

”We have a lot of momentum,” Stokesbary said.

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

The pavilion would be a building with a handful of space on its south end for restaurants, coffee shops or brew pubs. The north half would have larger open spaces with overhead doors.

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, and a raised and partially covered stage. A water feature, such as a fountain, would be nearby.

The sought-after state 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 city applied for the $18 million grant in February.

Schaeffer said state officials received 10 applications and picked six of them for final consideration.

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