Development News and Economic Highlights
Storm Lake is proud that our community is one of 25 towns across the country selected to receive a T-Mobile Hometown Grant!
This investment of nearly $50,000 will make a huge difference in Storm Lake so that we can create Harmony Garden, a welcoming gathering place for all residents in the downtown area, featuring outdoor musical instruments representing multiple cultures, along with accessible seating, game tables, covered area and outdoor electronics charging.
“The Harmony Garden project is a great opportunity to develop a public gathering spot in Storm Lake’s downtown area. It will be a lot of fun for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Storm Lake Mayor Mike Porsch. “The musical instruments will make it a very sensory, interactive experience. This is a great way to kick off our Downtown Master Plan and Storm Lake’s 2023 Sesquicentennial year celebration.”
In one of the country’s most ethnically diverse small cities, music is a common language. Adding instruments to a complex that houses both the public library and a public art gallery, makes for joyful synergy. Literature, visual art, and music dovetail to create a thriving cultural center to inspire creativity for many years to come.
The five-year, $25 million T-Mobile national commitment is aimed at helping communities create innovative gathering spaces.
T-Mobile has now awarded 150 grants totaling $6.8 million. "Hometown Grants are truly making a difference in small towns," said Jon Freier, President, Consumer Group at T-Mobile. "It’s been humbling to see T-Mobile creating a positive lasting impact in communities both through our grant funding and giving back to small businesses all over the country."
Students at Iowa Central Community College’s Storm Lake Campus will soon be able to attend all of their classes in one centralized location.
Plans for a new single site at 323 W. 20th St. near the Iowa Central Training Center are underway with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2023. Presently, Storm Lake students take classes in three separate locations: The AEA Building on Flindt Drive, Storm Lake High School and on the campus of Buena Vista University. The AEA Building currently houses classes for ESL and ELL, while nursing students attend class in the basement of BVU’s Swope Hall and general for-credit classes are held at Storm Lake High School.
Chris Cleveland, Storm Lake Center director said the new facility will allow a more fluid transition for students in multiple classes. “This will provide our students with a more fluid learning experience,” said Cleveland. “It has been a long-term goal of our master plan to have everything offered in one site.” “Our goal is to get everyone into one central location and this building will allow us to do that,” said Dr. Stacy Mentzer, vice president of instruction at Iowa Central.
The two-story building will include 16 classrooms with eight on each floor, an Academic Resource Center, and a testing center for external companies in the community to utilize. The new center will also offer additional programs such as welding, electrical and manufacturing and certified nurse aid courses.
“We are working to offer more programs and courses that will help fill a need in the Storm Lake area,” Mentzer said.
“Expanding our campus in Storm Lake allows us to better serve a part of the Iowa Central region that is rapidly growing,” said Iowa Central President Dr. Jesse Ulrich. “This expansion not only makes sense for our region, for our businesses and industry, and for our students, but also fits directly into our strategic plan and mission for Iowa Central.”
The initial plan is to complete the first floor of the building and continue to add classroom space on the second floor as enrollment increases. Presently, 198 students are enrolled in a combined 1,425 credit hours through the Storm Lake Campus.
“Being in one location should help with our student enrollment,” Cleveland said.
“Our goal is to be able to double enrollment with a new building,” Mentzer said.
The campus will also include a career academy for area high school students to enroll in a specific set of courses associated with a designated career area “Our hope is that having one campus will create more of a college environment and make our students feel more at home at Iowa Central.”
“This year’s winners are another group of great examples in economic development,” said Corridor President and CEO Shannon Landauer. “From large employers that make investments in their companies, teams and communities to individuals that are investing their time in strengthening their communities, the Corridor continues to provide examples of economic development excellence. This region continues to thrive with these contributors providing leadership in rural economic development!”
Nominations for the annual Business Recognition awards in the categories of Young Professional, Entrepreneur, Small Business and Large Business are made by area business leaders and community members. These nominations are then reviewed by a volunteer committee drawn from across the region and are evaluated based on commitment, impact and growth in Corridor communities.
Winners of this year’s Business Recognition awards are:
Young Professional of the Year – Teresa Beck, Beck Engineering, Spirit Lake
Entrepreneur of the Year – Inder Singh, Brew Oil, LLC, Storm Lake
Small Business Excellence – Consumers Lumber Company, Spirit Lake
Large Business Excellence – King’s Pointe Waterpark Resort, Storm Lake
Project of the Year – Tyson Foods Turkey Operations, Storm Lake
Workforce Excellence – Midwestern Mechanical, Spencer
Economic Development Partner – Rand Fisher, Des Moines
Economic Development Impact – Lyle Hevern, Estherville
Photos courtesy of Euvonne Hickey
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has announced $35 million in workforce housing tax credits to develop new housing across Iowa. The awards were made to support the construction of 57 housing projects in 30 counties statewide.
"Housing is a critical part of Iowa's efforts to attract and keep a skilled workforce, strengthen quality of life in our communities and grow the economy," said Debi Durham, Executive Director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority. "The awards announced today will help more communities thrive and more families move where opportunities await them."
Projects awarded in Storm Lake include:
• West Winds Townhomes: new single-family construction in Storm Lake. 8 units, awarded $282,600.
• Sunrise Pointe - Storm Lake, Phase II: new single-family construction in Storm Lake. 72 units, awarded $1,000,000.
• Storm Lake Apartments: new multi-family construction in Storm Lake. 36 units, awarded $948,690.
STORM LAKE | NEW HOUSING
Nearly 260 new housing units are being constructed or planned in Storm Lake right now! That's the most at any one time in city history. This includes some two dozen single-family dwellings, 51 condo units (with another building planned for the near future), 36 market-rate apartments, several townhomes, and 170 duplex home units.
STORM LAKE | TYSON FOODS | FEED MILL
Tyson Foods Inc., has completed construction of their $50 million feed mill to supplement its turkey operations in Storm Lake, Iowa. The new facility adds 69 acres to the company’s existing turkey complex, which includes grow-out facilities, a research firm and a processing plant.
The feed mill will be a critical piece to our business operations, and we look forward to seeing its impact across the United States and right here in Iowa,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of prepared foods at Tyson Foods.
Tyson uses corn and soybean meal from about 70 farmers within a 60-mile radius of Storm Lake to supply feed for the turkeys at its operations.
“The feed mill investment is critical to Storm Lake’s operations allowing team members to use the latest technology to manufacture ideal formulated feed that consistently meets nutrient and quality requirements for optimal turkey health,” Tyson said.
The company added that the mill would help support the growth of the Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, State Fair and Ball Park products.
More than 3,000 Tyson employees work at its facilities in Storm Lake. In Iowa, the company has more than 11,000 workers.
Photo: Tyson Foods Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Source - Storm Lake Radio
STORM LAKE | TYSON FOODS HOUSING GRANT
IOWA LAKES CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND TYSON FOODS ANNOUNCE $150,000 HOUSING PROJECT PARTNERSHIP - TWO STORM LAKE HOUSING PROJECTS RECEIVE GRANTS.
Tyson Foods through a partnership with The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (Corridor) has announced two grants totaling $150,000 for affordable housing projects. The Sunrise Pointe Phase II project by Kading Properties and the West Wind Townhomes by Brash LLC will each receive grant funding toward their projects.
The City of Storm Lake on behalf of the Corridor opened applications for housing grants at the end of March, requesting proposals that met the housing goals and objectives of Storm Lake. Proposals were evaluated and scored on a competitive basis.
Storm Lake, like many communities across Iowa, has a continuing need for more affordable housing. One of the major goals and priorities for Tyson Foods, The City of Storm Lake and the Corridor is to create, expand and maintain workforce housing.
“We are excited about our partnership with The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation to bring more affordable housing to the residents in Storm Lake,” said Russ Dierenfield, group manufacturing director for Tyson Foods. “High costs can burden working families as well as the economic health of the region. Tyson is committed to helping our team members and the community in the best ways we can.”
West Winds Townhomes will be developed by Brash LLC, consisting of four buildings with two units per building, totaling eight single-family dwellings. The townhomes each feature two bedrooms, two full baths, 1,250 square feet and a two-car attached garage. These dwellings are estimated to start construction this month with a predicted completion date of July 2024.
Kading Properties is in the process of constructing Sunrise Pointe Phase II, a 170-unit housing development on the northeast side of Storm Lake. All units will be offered as market-rate rentals to ensure affordability by the community’s workforce. Unit types will include both three-bedroom/one-bathroom and three-bedroom/two-bathroom floorplans, all with an attached garage. The project also includes a greenspace parkland which will be dedicated to the city for the enjoyment of the residents and other members of the Storm Lake community, as well as a walking trail that will run the north, east, and west sides of the perimeter of the property to connect to the future public multiuse trail on the south.
“Kading is grateful for the support we’ve received from the entire Storm Lake community for the housing project we currently have under construction, which will provide 170 new rental townhomes for local families,” shared Carrie Woerdeman, CPM, Director of Development with Kading Properties. “The housing grant provided through partnership between the City of Storm Lake, Tyson Foods, and Iowa Lakes Corridor will help ensure the success of the project and is particularly impactful in this time of volatile material costs and supply chain uncertainty. We could not be more excited to become a part of the Storm Lake Community!”
STORM LAKE | MINI SOCCER PITCH
NEW STORM LAKE MINI-PITCH GIVES KIDS THE ‘FEELING OF PLAYING IN A MINI-STADIUM
Foundation founder Matt Sahag says, “We look forward to giving the kids of Storm Lake the feeling of playing in a ‘mini stadium’ and filling their appetite for soccer.”
Kick It Forward was created in 2012 by former college soccer players who are now business professional in Iowa, looking to pass their passion for the game on to the next generation. “We aim to develop athletic and life skills in youth soccer players, providing them with powerful resources to live healthy lives and promote social change,” the foundation board of directors expresses.
Storm Lake’s Mini-Pitch will be the 15th built in the state. In western Iowa, other Mini-Pitches have been developed in Sioux City and Council Bluffs.
A Mini-Pitch is a scaled-down, futsal-style soccer field built from durable galvanized steel, with built-in goals. The design was engineered by Oskaloosa, Iowa-based Musco Lighting, the company that is assembling the Storm Lake pitch and its state-of-the-art LED lighting. The concept is to transform underutilized spaces into places where children and families can enjoy activity.
Musco has lit NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums, Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup events, Daytona NASCAR speedway, and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, San Francisco Bay Bridge and Mount Rushmore.
Futsal is an international sport typically played five-on-five, on a hard surface. It differs from traditional soccer in that substitutions are on the fly hockey-style, there are no offsides to stop action, and the ball must stay below head height with no punting by goalkeepers.
The Storm Lake mini-pitch is located on the former site of a little-used tennis court in the park. The surface there is large enough to add a basketball court or other activity space to the north of the pitch in the future.
Even without a real playing space, children have long repurposed the former tennis area for playing informal soccer, Kucera of Community Ed said. “Adding a Mini-Pitch in our community will be a tremendous advantage… having a safe and accessible place for our kids to gather with the local players offers and opportunity that does not currently exist.”
“We are excited to see the commitment put forth by our partners, the City of Storm Lake, the BVU soccer program and Kick It Forward, to develop sustainable soccer ecosystems that will help the youth of Buena Vista County grow and develop their skills,” adds Musco President Jeff Rogers. “Revitalizing space and providing equal access are values we strongly support.”