$17 M grant for mall project is a win for the community

Exciting transformation is underway

It’s hard to miss the evolution of the place generations of Fort Dodge area residents knew as Crossroads Mall.

In fact, most of the former big enclosed mall will be gone in the not-too-distant future. In its place will be a complex of buildings called Corridor Plaza. One new building housing a convenient care clinic is already standing, and two new roads pass close to it. A new strip mall is under construction, and the place that was once the Younkers wing of the mall is being renovated.

That transformation got a big boost Friday when the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded $17 million for a portion of the project. The state money is specifically for creating a public plaza and pavilion near the South 25th Street side of the property.

The award of that grant may sound familiar. That’s because in June 2021, the state agency gave preliminary approval to the grant. Now the award is final, the preliminaries are out of the way and exciting things are going to start happening.

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

The plaza would be an outdoor public space and entertainment area just north of the pavilion. The concept for it includes pickleball courts, picnic shelters and a raised and partially covered stage. A fountain or other water feature would be nearby.

The City Council applied for the grant in February 2021 in partnership with Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny, which owns the property. An $18 million grant was sought.

In winning $17 million, the Fort Dodge project received more of the sought after total than any of the other projects awarded grants.

What is happening at the mall is exciting. Things seem to be changing there on a nearly weekly basis. Not every community with a big enclosed mall that was once popular gets a chance like this to welcome something new.

We are pleased that Crossroads Plaza Development LLC took the gamble of doing this project.

We thank the developers and the local officials who are making this project possible.


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