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Learn about Mason City’s redevelopment of former mall anchor


Watch a video that explains how the proposal to redevelop a vacant department store at Merle Hay Mall into a multipurpose arena is similar to a Mason City project. Video by Merle Hay Mall and Des Moines Buccaneers

In February 2019, Mason City kicked off redeveloping a former J.C. Penney store into a multipurpose arena with a sheet of ice for hockey and ice skating. The new arena, located at Southbridge Mall, caught the attention of Elizabeth Holland, CEO of Merle Hay Investors, which owns Merle Hay Mall, located in Des Moines and Urbandale. “We were very intrigued when Mason City reused their existing J.C. Penney store. … It made their project very unique,” Holland said in a video that explains the similarities between the proposed Merle Hay project and the one in Mason City. The owners of Merle Hay Mall are proposing to redevelopment the former Younkers department store into a multiuse arena. The facility would be home to the Des Moines Buccaneers hockey team. Watch a video showing the similarities between the proposed Merle Hay project and the completed Mason City multipurpose arena. On Friday, backers of six redevelopment proposals that are vying for  state tax revenue to pay for part of their projects will give presentations about their plans to the Iowa Economic Development Authority board. Learn more about the six projects, which include the Merle Hay redevelopment proposal.

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