The face of downtown changes
12 Feb 2017
New businesses are just one indicator that at community — or a commercial district — is vibrant. Positive changes in existing enterprises also demonstrate positive change.
Downtown Fort Dodge has seen a major influx of new commercial ventures in the last several years. During 2016, however, positive developments also occurred regarding several businesses that were already part of the Central Avenue world.
The Fort Dodge law office headed by Mark Crimmins underwent three major changes in 2016.
In April, the name was changed from Bennett, Crimmins & Livingstone to the Crimmins Law Firm. Simultaneously, it moved from 704 Central Ave., which had been its home since 1979, to a massively renovated building with a long Fort Dodge history at 706 First Ave. N. The third change occurred June 20 when Ryan Kehm, Mark Crimmins’ son-in-law, joined Crimmins a partner in the firm.
Crimmins said there were two main reasons for moving the office.
“First of all, we were on the second floor over there so access was kind of limited,” he said, noting that the new office is at ground level. “I liked being on the street level. People could see where we were at. It just made it more accessible for clients. Parking is much better. It is not metered on this street. The parking lot behind us is city-owned and it’s free.”
Fort Dodge Family Credit Union
The Fort Dodge Family Credit Union has a new home at 407 Second Ave. S. in a newly constructed building on the completed crosstown connector. It moved into the new facility in December 2015.
Long headquartered in downtown Fort Dodge, the decision to relocate from the 2,000-square-foot structure at 215 Central Ave. that had been the credit union’s home since 1999 was made necessary by growth.
Real Deals on Home Decor
In 2016, Real Deals on Home Decor, 329 Central Ave., expanded the diversity of the merchandise it sells. On March 31, it launched a new section of the store that features clothing for women — the RD Boutique.
Real Deals in Fort Dodge is a franchise owned and operated by Janelle Hotz and Shawn Portz. The addition of the boutique is the result of a successful pretest of offering clothing at its stores by Real Deals corporately.