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Fort Dodge Holds Workshop on Future of Warden Plaza

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FORT DODGE, Iowa- The Fort Dodge City Council called for a workshop Monday afternoon with a Missouri developer on the future of the Warden Plaza Hotel.

Last fall the City opened the doors to the long abandoned hotel to public tours. At that time the city was putting out an idea to convert the property to a fitness and residential center.

Now a Columbia Missouri company has put together a plan to possible build a new structure which would be a fitness facility, onto the Warden Plaza.

“A few months back we engaged a company called Formation Group to help us kind of facilitate the path forward, with the Warden Plaza redevelopment, with our developer KDG,” said Mayor Matt Bemrich.

The company has issued a draft plan proposal for stakeholders. It names the Webster County Board of Supervisors, Unity Point/ Trinity, Iowa Central Community College, and Friendship Haven, as well as the City of Fort Dodge.

The proposal is split in two pieces. An estimated $30 million dollar fitness center could be built east of the Warden Plaza.  The old hotel would be developed by the Missouri firm, along side the rec center the City is doing. The Warden Plaza development is estimated a $30 million cost also, that would be raised by the developer. The old hotel would be renovated to provide housing for people moving to Fort Dodge due to expanding busineess in the bio-tech park northwest of town.

Housing is one of our big concerns we don’t have a lot of housing available right now,” said Bemrich. “The marketplace is saturated with houses but they’re not to the standard that a lot of people are looking for.”

The City Council wanted workshop Monday,on the future of the Warden Plaza to discuss with consultants and stake holders a timeline for moving forward.