It might not seem like there’s a whole lot to do in small town Iowa. But by the fall of 2016, Northwestern students may just find themselves shopping in Orange City’s new strip mall.
The Highway 10 Plaza will be a 16,000-square-foot mall with several spaces available for retail, service or professional businesses. The first announced tenant will be a nail salon, a business that has been requested by the community several times. Two additional tenants have yet to share their name with the public.
These three tenants will occupy about 4,000 square feet together, leaving 12,000 square feet available.
“As construction continues, we will work with the developer to attract additional tenants for the facility,” said Orange City community development director Mark Gaul.
A few interested tenants have approached the city about establishing their business on Main Street. There are currently no unoccupied retail buildings downtown.
However, a few of the local tenants on Main Street have expressed interest in relocating to the new Highway 10 Plaza. This would allow the city to offer future retailers locations both downtown and at the Highway 10 Plaza.
“It is proven as your retail base grows, you attract new businesses to the area and it becomes a domino effect. So we are extremely excited to see our retail community grow and bring new businesses to town,” mayor Deb DeHaan said.
The city is also looking to provide more employment opportunities for the student body.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer different shopping options to the NW community and also provide some employment for interested students,” DeHaan said. “Many of the investors have been asking how to recruit NW students to fill some of their employment needs.”
Planning for the strip mall began four to five years ago with the idea of a new motel.
Orange City Development Corporation purchased and removed the Dutch Colony Inn with the intention of attracting a Hampton Inn to Orange City. This allowed for the expansion and relocation of Casey’s General Store.
After Casey’s was completed, there was still property available for development. This left the Orange City Development Corporation and the City of Orange City with the task of deciding what to do with the remaining L-shaped plot of land.
Orange City had a need for retail and professional space, so the development corporation set a goal to attract a developer who would construct a strip mall on the remaining property. C&S Developers, including Dave Cleveringa and Brian Schutt, came forward to partner with the city in this development.
C & S Developers have since purchased the property from Orange City and have committed to building the Highway 10 Plaza strip mall.
Construction began mid-October and is scheduled to finish by the spring of 2016. The strip mall will be located west of Casey’s General Store.