Cytown Update

alarson

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 15, 2006
55,101
64,561
113
Ankeny
The mall here in Bloomington MN next to the airport has done pretty good. Just sayin.

I think malls that can operate as a 'town center' like jordan creek, or outdoor malls, have both done decently well.

A lot of malls that have gone under are either outdated concepts, in former areas of suburban growth that are no longer the nice areas they used to be, or both.
 

ribsnwhiskey

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Feb 6, 2009
8,781
3,764
113
80246
The ‘new mall’ proposal and opposition was over 20 years ago. They were trying to bring some development to the area east of I-35 and 13th Street and to try and grow the economic and tax base in Story County as opposed to continually losing it to Des Moines and Polk County. Who knows what kind of impact a development in that area would’ve done for overall growth. God knows Ames, much like ISU, has done plenty over the years to hinder its’ own progress. Meanwhile, Des Moines and the burbs are booming. At least in the case of CyTown, Pollard is attempting to buck that trend.
 

IASTATE07

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
May 30, 2016
12,124
19,021
113
The ‘new mall’ proposal and opposition was over 20 years ago. They were trying to bring some development to the area east of I-35 and 13th Street and to try and grow the economic and tax base in Story County as opposed to continually losing it to Des Moines and Polk County. Who knows what kind of impact a development in that area would’ve done for overall growth. God knows Ames, much like ISU, has done plenty over the years to hinder its’ own progress. Meanwhile, Des Moines and the burbs are booming. At least in the case of CyTown, Pollard is attempting to buck that trend.

I'm curious how Jordan Creek would have been impacted if the Ames Mall would have happened before it.
 

JP4CY

Doesn't quickly stand up when the plane lands.
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 19, 2008
66,410
81,317
113
Testifying
I'm curious how Jordan Creek would have been impacted if the Ames Mall would have happened before it.
I think it still would be a strong presence. I think people forget it's Dallas County vs Polk.
I thought for years DMU should have acquired Valley West thru a partnership with the city on some abatements to remodel. That really could have been a shot in the arm to that area.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: IASTATE07

Cyclonsin

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 4, 2020
1,445
2,971
113
35
Savannah, GA
The mall here in Bloomington MN next to the airport has done pretty good. Just sayin.
I don't think the Mall of America is a great barometer for how other, much smaller, malls are doing around the country.

That said, as others have already mentioned, the "town center" and outdoor outlet type malls seem to be doing well by offering a pleasant shopping experience and not relying on a few anchor stores to shoulder a lot of the financial load.
 

Frak

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2009
10,838
6,105
113
We already have one half empty mall, that’s plenty.
I was for the new mall back then. It was an outdoor mall and would bring some big box stores. I still think it would have done pretty well and brought people off the interstate. But, they have developed some off of south 16th, which helps.

The other thing that annoyed me was that they tried to pass a bill that would renovate Scheman. No new local taxes, just an additional hotel tax. That would help get bigger conventions to town. Residents voted it down. So short sighted. The city overall should see the benefit of investing in Scheman and Stephens. Those two places if they are up to date, can bring in a lot of money to the city.
 

cytor

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Nov 20, 2011
6,426
9,924
113
Honestly, I am still very surprised at the Mall of America's popularity after 30+ years. They still average 40 million visitors a year. That's crazy.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Cyclonsin

JP4CY

Doesn't quickly stand up when the plane lands.
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 19, 2008
66,410
81,317
113
Testifying
I was for the new mall back then. It was an outdoor mall and would bring some big box stores. I still think it would have done pretty well and brought people off the interstate. But, they have developed some off of south 16th, which helps.

The other thing that annoyed me was that they tried to pass a bill that would renovate Scheman. No new local taxes, just an additional hotel tax. That would help get bigger conventions to town. Residents voted it down. So short sighted. The city overall should see the benefit of investing in Scheman and Stephens. Those two places if they are up to date, can bring in a lot of money to the city.
I believe the developer for the 13th St mall was even going to pay for the infrastructure and wasn't holding the city's feet to the fire that bad.

Recently, I had thought Mills Fleet Farm wanted a store in that area.
 

JP4CY

Doesn't quickly stand up when the plane lands.
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 19, 2008
66,410
81,317
113
Testifying
Honestly, I am still very surprised at the Mall of America's popularity after 30+ years. They still average 40 million visitors a year. That's crazy.
I know a lot of people who go to the MOA, and then take the train into the city for Vikings games.
 

wintersmd

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2014
728
927
93
The ‘new mall’ proposal and opposition was over 20 years ago. They were trying to bring some development to the area east of I-35 and 13th Street and to try and grow the economic and tax base in Story County as opposed to continually losing it to Des Moines and Polk County. Who knows what kind of impact a development in that area would’ve done for overall growth. God knows Ames, much like ISU, has done plenty over the years to hinder its’ own progress. Meanwhile, Des Moines and the burbs are booming. At least in the case of CyTown, Pollard is attempting to buck that trend.
I live on the SE side in Ames, along Duff. Looks like the city put in some fire hydrants south on Duff just past Ken Merrell just across the street from the SukUp golf training center. I hope they put in a Fareway. That is all we are missing on that end.
 

Cycsk

Year-round tailgater
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Aug 17, 2009
27,331
15,466
113
The other thing that annoyed me was that they tried to pass a bill that would renovate Scheman. No new local taxes, just an additional hotel tax. That would help get bigger conventions to town. Residents voted it down. So short sighted. The city overall should see the benefit of investing in Scheman and Stephens. Those two places if they are up to date, can bring in a lot of money to the city.

Wasn't there a shady person behind the proposal of the build-out of Scheman into a larger convention facility?
 

theshadow

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2006
17,945
16,135
113
The other thing that annoyed me was that they tried to pass a bill that would renovate Scheman. No new local taxes, just an additional hotel tax. That would help get bigger conventions to town. Residents voted it down. So short sighted. The city overall should see the benefit of investing in Scheman and Stephens. Those two places if they are up to date, can bring in a lot of money to the city.

The 2% hotel/motel tax increase was for Hilton (1999). That was a 73% no on about 5,000 votes (15% turnout).

"I think the election loss supports the status quo. We [the city and the university] make no progress together." --Murray Blackwelder, 1999

Scheman (2014) was a bond issue that would have split the renovation cost 50/50 ($19M each) between ISU and the City. That was a 63% no on about 5,000 votes (12% turnout). The City had decided that the way to pay for the bond was a property tax increase, which made it an immediate "no" for many people.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Frak

Al_4_State

Moderator
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 27, 2006
30,664
24,138
113
39
Driftless Region
Visit site
Main Street businesses coalesced in opposition to that. A lot of the old money in town was very opposed to a new mall deterring people from the overpriced shops on Main Street. I have nothing against them specifically, but they definitely placed their interests above the interests of the community.
And Ames now has a thriving downtown and not another **** hole mall full of chain stores and restaurants that suck.

I find the anti growth segment of Ames annoying, but this example was a win for the community. Ames is much better off with a vibrant downtown and no second mall.
 

cyco2000

Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2007
1,332
209
63
And Ames now has a thriving downtown and not another **** hole mall full of chain stores and restaurants that suck.

I find the anti growth segment of Ames annoying, but this example was a win for the community. Ames is much better off with a vibrant downtown and no second mall.
So you think a second mall would have killed downtown? I sure don't see that. More people to Ames can help another area in Ames - it isn't always a scarcity mindset. Look at Ankeny - their old downtown is flourishing even after Prairie Trail's popularity. I don't know that the old mall would have made it, but I think it would have only made downtown better. And the increase to property taxes, as well as a developer paying for infrastructure expansion east of the interstate would have generated more growth.

But alas, we'll never know.
 

theshadow

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2006
17,945
16,135
113
The final version of the CyTown MOU was on the City Council agenda last night.

These items were already in the documents, but I don't think drew much attention:
*Traffic signal at University/Center Dr
*Traffic signal at Beach/Cessna/Jack Trice Way
*Realignment of the Beach/Center/Greeley intersection

...all of which have to be done at/by specific points during CyTown development.
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Reactions: Cycsk and Cyclone06

Pat

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2011
2,241
3,261
113
The final version of the CyTown MOU was on the City Council agenda last night.

These items were already in the documents, but I don't think drew much attention:
*Traffic signal at University/Center Dr
*Traffic signal at Beach/Cessna/Jack Trice Way
*Realignment of the Beach/Center/Greeley intersection

...all of which have to be done at/by specific points during CyTown development.

The City of Ames has never had a problem that they felt couldn’t be solved by adding yet another stop light. However, these ideas all seem good, and possibly 20+ years overdue.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Bocy