$17M for Corridor Plaza OK’d

State gives final approval; Money will help redevelop Crossroads Mall site

-Submitted image
This illustration shows what one of the future new buildings at Corridor Plaza may look like. The redevelopment of the former Crossroads Mall site received a major boost Friday when the Iowa Economic Development Authority gave final approval to $17 million in state funding.

The transformation of the old Crossroads Mall site into a development called Corridor Plaza will continue with the aid of $17 million in state funding which received final approval Friday.

The money will specifically support the creation of indoor and outdoor event space, and provide a further boost to building new retail space, lodging and infrastructure.

“The award today will add enhancements to the project, enabling it to come to life quicker and include amenities that otherwise may not have been realized for a number of years,” said Chad Schaeffer, the city’s chief development officer.

On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board gave final approval to the money through the Iowa Reinvestment District Program.

“The state recognizes the opportunity that we’ve seen,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said. ”Unanimous approval from the IDEA board is a vote of confidence for the city of Fort Dodge.”

-Submitted photo
This aerial view shows the Corridor Plaza site, looking from northeast to southwest. First Avenue South is to the right. The UnityPoint Health — Clinic Express building is in the foreground with the remaining portion of the mall building in the background.

Fort Dodge has received a couple such votes of confidence from the state government in the last few years. About two years ago, a $500,000 grant was awarded to help pay for facade improvements in part of downtown. Then in October 2021 another $500,000 grant was awarded for more downtown facade improvements.

Friday’s vote established Corridor Plaza as a Reinvestment District. According to the Iowa Economic Development 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 Reinvestment District Program puts state sales tax dollars back into our community, working for our community, supporting the greater region which looks to Fort Dodge for entertainment and shopping,” Schaeffer said.

The city government and the site’s owner, Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny, applied for $18 million from the program in February 2021.

By receiving $17 million, the Corridor Plaza project received a higher percentage of its grant request than any other project in the state.

“It’s been a really rigorous process and it should be because it’s significant funding,” said BJ Stokesbary, a spokesman for Crossroads Plaza Development LLC.

“We’re thankful for the city of Fort Dodge’s commitment to the project,” he added.

The proposed indoor/outdoor recreation area would be on the west side of the mall property, behind a car wash, Central Financial Group and Great Western Bank. It would consist of what has been called the pavilion and the plaza.

The pavilion would be a building with a handful of spaces 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 just north of the pavilion. Proposed features include pickleball courts, picnic shelters, and a raised and partially covered stage. A water feature, such as a fountain, would be nearby.


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