Process started for development agreement on Stellar expansion, expansion of Mason City South Industrial Park

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night set the date for a public hearing to amend the Mason City Unified urban renewal area to start the process of forming a development agreement with Stellar Industries after their announcement last week they’ve purchased the former Pep Boys distribution warehouse. Stellar acquired the 150,000 square foot building at 2400 19th Southwest which is adjacent to their current facility.

Mason City mayor Bill Schickel says he’s excited about Stellar’s expansion announcement.   “Stellar Industries just has a storied history in north Iowa. It’s been operating in Mason City for some time. This will be an expansion of their facilities. The building they are purchasing is just north of Newman High School there. A $15 million investment and creation of 40 new jobs, manufacturing of agriculture trailers and other agriculture and truck equipment.”

Schickel says the Stellar expansion announcement shows that growth and retention of existing businesses is just as important as trying to bring new businesses to the community.  “Stellar Industries is just a classic example of expansion of a local industry. Most of our new jobs do come from that kind of thing, and so it’s very, very exciting.” A potential development agreement would provide a ten-year annual property tax rebate agreement not to exceed a total of $1 million.

The council last night also approved a development agreement with Seefried Properties of Chicago which is in the process of purchasing just over 12 acres at the southwest corner of 43rd and South Washington in the South Industrial Park, where they are planning to develop a large-scale distribution center.

The agreement calls for the expansion of South Washington by about 80 feet to allow for a driveway access. Schickel says utilities will also have to be addressed in that area.  “We also are looking at extending utilities down there to the newly annexed area. The city council took action on that last night.  This will be a major expansion of our industrial park and there’s been a lot of interest there as well. Development always follows transportation and utilities. Without transportation and without utilities — sewer service, water service, electric service, transportation — you can’t have economic development, and that’s why it’s so critical that we stay after that as a community.”

Schickel made his comments on the “Ask the Mayor” program earlier today on AM-1300 KGLO. Listen back to the program via the audio player below.