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Mason City offers an array of vacant and blighted properties



This news story was published on July 10, 2017.
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MASON CITY – Vacant and blighted properties are not in short supply in Mason City, with each offering opportunities to people with a vision of what could be.

Here are some of the properties you will find along the Federal Avenue corridor, which runs north and south through the historic community (includes Delaware and Washington Avenues downtown one-ways):

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41 Responses to Mason City offers an array of vacant and blighted properties

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

    One of the buildings identified as vacant, the old Maria’s Kitchen on N. Federal Ave., is the catering kitchen for Butchers. They also do tastings there with brides, etc. It’s not open for walk-in business so it looks vacant from the front. However, it isn’t vacant.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

    If your not in someway connected to the farm industry complex in Iowa which is corporate owned or subsidized by the American tax payers your lucky to survive .

  3. Anon Reply Report comment

    July 12, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Travel! You know the places you like to go. Speak with the people of these places and take note, since obviously no one can figure it out.

    Not one creative person of position in town.
    How does Clear Lake make it? Talk to them.

    Once you shut down main street with a mall, well duh.
    Same thing will happen with hockey issue. It will fizzel out before you can say that was stupid.
    It has to be for EVERYONE to make things popin again .

  4. Omo Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Well we have new bars where you can sit and forget about all the empty buildings. Just don’t get too drunk to forget to vote next election and the hotel/hockey deal.

  5. MattG Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Mason City was a retail town, then the powers to be tried to switch it to a service town and now we are caught in the middle with no true direction.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      That’s absolute Nonsense. Mercy Medical Center and related services are the largest employer, economy driver and service delivery system in 17 North Iowa Counties. That’s success!

      • MattG Reply Report comment

        July 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm

        Then tell me guy who doesn’t post his name…why does Mercy continue to buy up the best of MC vacant buildings instead of building NEW on the North End and actually do something for the city? Can you imagine if they actually invested in the North end and what that would do for our town? No they buy up buildings for pennies on the dollar to save a buck while the town falls apart. Your opinion is why were in this mess.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

      This might be the dumbest comment on here (and that is saying a lot). Mason City used to be a retail town? Now its a service town???

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        July 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        The reasoning and logic of MattG is difficult to follow and his facts are clearly his opinions. Just look at his statements about Mercy in the latest post.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

          If I were to take a inventory of the strengths of the Mason City market, one would be that the employment base is actually quite diverse (traditional manufacturing, healthcare, retail and food service, financial services, food processing, and distribution are all large components of the employment base). In fact, this is the reason Mason City has fared somewhat better than similar cities in the region (Ft Dodge, Ottumwa, Albert Lea, etc.) over the last 50 years or so.

          I do agree that there is not a clear consensus towards economic development in this community. You have many that seem to think luring antiquated industries (traditional manufacturing) are somehow the key to success and have a very negative attitude towards any other type of economic development. You also have a very vocal group of curmudgeons that are against any sort of development and fight progress by throwing childish tantrums at city council meetings. I suspect there is an apathetic majority in this town and I hope that this group can someday become inspired to support progress rather than letting this small group of curmudgeons continue to set city policy.

  6. JenniferG Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    This is a simple LOWER YOUR LEASE AMOUNTS and do not let the local realtors set the amounts show. Many new business are rebuked due to the huge amount of vacancies and the the lease amounts that do not coincide with the many spaces vacant. There are business that have looked at MC but have went elsewhere, not due to the population, but due to the overcharge on lease amounts. I know o 3 restaurants and one general office business looking to lease. We need to POST the lease amounts of these vacant spots and whats included in the lease, specially the mall.

  7. flower shop Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

    When will the lunatic ‘no’ people get it? Beggars CANNOT be choosers in Mason City. You turned away the pork plant, you better dam well take what we get next time!

    • 'Nonymus Reply Report comment

      July 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Us “no” people have watched you “elites” come up with big ideas and throw good money time after time with zero to negative results. There was no upside to the common taxpayer with that pork plant. Benefit to a land owner, a construction company, a pork slaugher corp. and bunch transient (probably illegal aliens) and the taxpayer props up the infrastructure costs and educational over-runs! That’s not counting the stench created or the impact on water quality/quantity.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Hud money and welfare – we don;t need no stinkin small businesses !

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 8:13 am

    With no population increase in Mason City and a lot of small towns – only a certain number of small business can survive – property taxes and health insurance are ruthless to the private sector unless your subsidized by some sort of subsidy or special interest group – Walmart probably caused 50% of these places to go belly up . Buckle up it’s not over yet and the public sector wants you to cough up millions more for their special interest groups none of which help the private sector get ahead.

  10. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Bulldoze and welfare for everyone – or you could get a job a public servant and enjoy the goood life.

  11. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Vacant and for sale or lease and blighted are not the same thing. There are too many blighted properties, homes and businesses, that are far over due for much needed attention. Our city needs a backbone and get though on the owners of neglected properties. The majority of our bad properties are owned by only a couple people.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 11, 2017 at 7:19 am

      I disagree. We have lots of Slum Lords that only care about the money and a couple who are good citizens. They know who they are.

  12. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    You still have snow?

  13. Allen Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    If you build a mall in the center of town, they will come…

  14. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    That’s 50 different properties and a lot were left out! MC Sports, Carlos O Kelly’s and many more! This is much more than just an average rural America problem that is supposedly everywhere

    • MattG Reply Report comment

      July 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      and wise guys

    • MattG Reply Report comment

      July 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      When the downtown thingy doesn’t pass, because it won’t with the age of our population, and the old Sears Mall owned by a firm in California that doesn’t truly care, MC is stuck.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

      …and Staples closing soon

  15. Lewie Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    This is what happens when you’z back the wrong horse. Nothing for nothing or something for something. Back in the day MC was a very wonderful place with colorful characters. Now not so much..respect.

  16. nickee Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Tear down all the old buildings and you’ll truly have nothing to offer. Vacant gravel lots and steel sheds look like crap. God this place sucks. And no, MC is worse than most.

  17. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    We have done well with west side retail but other areas of town are certainly hurting. Lets keep this in perspective. For towns our size in our region we may be doing better than most.

  18. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Indicative of the changing face of retail in America. Add in a rural economy with a more transient workforce to the mix, and this is the result. Not just a MC problem, but a rural America problem. Brick and mortar retail is a tough gig and I have the utmost respect for those who tough it out day after day.

  19. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    This is what you get when you have ANTI-JOB GROWTH leadership!!! Chambe of Crime is who we need to blame. They control the city council and Mayors office. Willie Pickle is running for Mayor and he’s their man.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Hey genius, city leadership has brought several job prospects to the table through the years. Each and every one has been chased away by the childish tantrums thrown at city council meetings by the very same group of curmudgeons.

      If this town wants to grow, we need to lose the culture of ‘no’.

      • MC Pants Reply Report comment

        July 11, 2017 at 7:09 am

        City leadership has brought “last resort” style job opportunities. Maybe we really are getting to be that desperate after all.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 11, 2017 at 8:46 am

          Do you really think Microsoft, Citibank, or Pfizer could find qualified employees here? There absolutely is a reason Mason City only attracts food processing and retail jobs and it has nothing to do with city leadership or the various economic development organizations….The invisible hand is speaking, but no one in Mason City is listening.

  20. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Just private sector jobs and people – the elected offiicals and pubic employees where their checks come from could give a chit LESS.

  21. Sad but true Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    mason city has a ordance for everything. How are these propertys allowed to stay upright?
    The old rose bowl, several along the N end loop (boarded up, vacant) They have zero value, a bare space would look much better than these blighted buildings. Yes, this is a sad town

  22. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Other than Yonkers is the mall even open??? lot of empty buildings in down town, too bad the mayor is not running again maybe we’d have a ghost town before his next term expired. Way to go down town Mason City. Turn out the lights the party is almost over!!!!!!!

  23. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Some of those places in the mall are still open, you just went there after hours it looks like.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      What places in the mall were just after hours?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        July 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

        The pictures were taken after business hours. There are pictures of places in the mall that are still open, just not at the time the pics were taken.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

          I understand what you are saying but can you be more specific? Which businesses are pictured “after hours” and are not really closed.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 10, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      At least 50% of the business in the mall are gone.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 10, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      You forgot to take pictures of Russ Hardy’s in town JUNK and rat yard.