Storm Lake is on the verge of a sort of retail rejuvenation, the chamber of commerce feels.
Although nothing is firm, a number of new retail businesses have contacted the chamber, asking for information about potential sites in the community, according to Gary Lalone.
The chamber is staying mum on what those businesses are. When asked if any of the contacts were from very large retailers, Lalone said only, "No comment."
The interest may be due in part to the outlook for a $30 million Destination Park in the city that stands to improve the image of the city and its tourist traffic, chamber officials feel. "The buzz is certainly on about Storm Lake," Lalone said.
Melanders is about to open in Storm Lake, teaming with Rebnord Technology and B and K Mercantile clothing shop to renovate the long vacant former Alco building. Down the road, a large new Movie Gallery video store has filled a spot in a vacant former auto parts store.
Two storefronts downtown are being remade as photo studios, and a third is under remodeling for an antique and candy shop.
At the north edge of the city, a new branch of Citizens Bank is nearing completion and planning continues on a strip mall nearby.
There has been some interest in the former Penneys store downtown, including a possibility for an antiques mall, and rumors for the former Wal-Mart location include a major car dealership, as yet unconfirmed.