Decades-old vision is rising out of the ground on former family farm
30 Sep 2018
More than 40 years ago, the late Bill Scheideman envisioned turning his family’s farmland on the east side of Fort Dodge into a new neighborhood full of houses for families.
An informal conversation on the floor of the Iowa Senate last year has finally led to Scheideman’s vision becoming reality.
A recently dug foundation just south of 10th Avenue North not far from the eastern city limits marks the spot where the first of 70 single-family attached homes will be built in the new Gypsum Creek Crossing neighborhood on ground once farmed by Bill and Eva Scheideman.
The housing area will encompass about 33 acres south of 10th Avenue South and east of North 32nd Street. A four-acre park will be located in the middle of the development.
Two new north-south streets to be called 35th and 36th streets will be built. Also, Seventh Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North will be extended into the neighborhood.
“It’s a fantastic location next to the aquatic park, near the schools and near all of the retail,” said Russ Bertrand, president of RJ Tide Development, of Sioux City. “There are just a lot of benefits to that location.”
Bertrand said his firm’s plan for the area isn’t much different from what Scheideman proposed.
“We’re not that dissimiliar from that original plat,” he said.
Keely Anderson, a Fort Dodge native now living in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, is very familiar with the site. She is a granddaughter of the Scheidemans, and she grew up in a house on 10th Avenue North near the property.
She said her grandparents had owned the land since 1946.
She recalled that her grandfather approached city officials in the 1970s about developing the site. In 1975, she said, he created a plat that showed streets and lots for homes.
“The city said at that time there was no need for housing in that area,” Anderson said.
The proposal was then shelved and largely forgotten.