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Southbridge

The public will get an opportunity to offer ideas on what should be done with Southbridge Mall during a brainstorming session Tuesday, Jan. 23.

MASON CITY | North Iowans with ideas for businesses to locate in Southbridge Mall — or to repurpose the mall — are invited to a brainstorming session.

The session is 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the storefront formerly occupied by C.J. Banks at Southbridge.

The event will be "drop-in" in nature to solicit ideas for potential tenants, said Robin Anderson, executive director of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, one of the organizers.

Co-sponsor is North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation with assistance from Main Street Mason City and Cindy Boender, Southbridge manager.

"Malls across the country are being repurposed from traditional shopping centers to everything from entertainment centers to medical offices, satellite college campuses, micro-apartments, and churches," Anderson said. "We know we’ll be adding an ice arena/event center and performance venue to our downtown mall. It will be interesting to hear what our citizens believe will complement these plans."

Chad Schreck, president of the Corridor organization, agreed. "This will be an opportunity for people to step forward and share what they’re thinking and hearing, and we’ll do our best to help bring those ideas to fruition," he said.

Anderson said in order for the financing package related to the Iowa Reinvestment Act project to work, Southbridge must remain in private hands and must find tenants with the ability to pay rent and formulate a successful revenue stream.

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