WATERLOO — Demolition contractors Tuesday began tearing down the former Logan Plaza shopping center to make way for its rebirth.
Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart showed up early to watch as backhoes started ripping into the blighted 58,500-square-foot building, an eyesore that served as a reminder of past economic stagnation on the city’s east side.
“I went out and took some video and pictures and posted it on Facebook,” Hart said. “Within an hour and a half there were over 200 people who liked it.
“A lot of people have been rooting for the continued development of that area, regardless of where they live in the community,” he added. “People are excited to see something positive at that location.”
North Crossing LLC, an investment group spearheaded by Ben Stroh, is redeveloping the Logan Plaza site at the intersection of U.S. Highway 63 and Donald Street through a partnership with the city.
City Council members in January approved a development agreement for North Crossing to buy the 1960s-vintage strip mall, out-lots, former Region’s Bank and 50 acres of bare land to the north. The developer will demolish the vacant buildings and build medical offices and retail businesses with a taxable value exceeding $9.5 million.
UnityPoint-Allen Hospital has expressed interest in placing clinics in the development, which is near its campus, but no other future tenants have been identified publicly.
The city is providing $1 million annually for eight years in tax-increment financing revenue to repay the developers for site acquisition and demolition along with property tax rebates on the buildings eventually built there.
Black Hawk County property records show North Crossing acquired the Logan Plaza site from Hopkins, Minn.-based Consolidated Investments on Feb. 24 for $2.6 million. The bank site and bare land owned by Menard’s home improvement store have not been purchased yet.
Stroh could not be reached for comment about the timeline for additional site improvements.