Business

Fleet Farm halts plans for Tiffin store

A rendering of the proposed Fleet Farm store concept for the Park Place development in Tiffin. (Courtesy Fleet Farm)
A rendering of the proposed Fleet Farm store concept for the Park Place development in Tiffin. (Courtesy Fleet Farm)
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Fleet Farm shelved its plans for what was projected to be a $35 million store in Tiffin.

“Fleet Farm considered opening a store in Tiffin, but decided not to move forward at this time,” company spokeswoman Lindsay Walsh confirmed in an email Tuesday evening.

The store was announced in late April as the planned occupant of a 185,000-square-foot building within the city’s 265-acre Park Place mixed-use development, near the Forevergreen Road interchange on Interstate 380.

Since that announcement, city officials have learned that the store and developer Ders Group, of North Liberty, stepped back from a letter of intent to close on that lot, Tiffin Mayor Steve Berner said.

Berner said he still is optimistic the space will be filled, and added both the city and developer have started talks with a different big-box store, though he did not disclose the potential buyer’s identity.

He also said he believes Fleet Farm still could relocate elsewhere in the Park Place development — “I don’t think they’re completely gone.”

The Gazette has reached out to Ders Group representatives for more information.

Headquartered in Appleton, Wis., Fleet Farm earlier this year outlined plans to “nearly double its store presence by 2023,” including a Cedar Rapids location at Edgewood Road NE and Highway 100, scheduled for a grand opening Sept. 20.

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The Tiffin building’s eventual occupant would become that city’s first big-box store, a milestone of business growth in what U.S. Census Bureau data shows is Iowa’s fastest-growing community.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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