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      It's official, it's Kohl's

      The worst kept secret in Ottumwa is no longer a secret.

      The city of Ottumwa formally acknowledged that it is working with a developer to bring a Kohl's Department Store to the City of Bridges.

      The city says that Continental Properties Inc is proposing a four million dollar development at the corner of Wildwood and U.S. 34.

      The city has been working on the project for months, without naming the developer or the store.

      Today TMs announcement is the first official acknowledgement that the retail giant with over one thousand stores nationwide might be coming to town.

      The announcement seems to be good news, but that doesn't mean the project is without controversy.

      In the past week, a rift has developed between the city and Wapello County over the city's desire to TIF the development and provide over two million in incentives to Continental Properties.

      The county is concerned that the TIF plan will cut the county out of any property tax revenues the store might generate.

      County supervisors are scheduled to discuss the project at Tuesday TMs meeting.

      The city has a public hearing on the project scheduled for Aug. 2

      June 21 Story

      Press release from the City of Ottumwa

      The City of Ottumwa is working with a Continental Properties, Inc. to build a Kohl's retail store located east of the intersection of Wildwood Drive and U.S. Highway 34. Continental Properties, Inc. is a retail site developer.

      Continental Properties, Inc. is proposing to invest over $4 million dollars to prepare the site and construct the 55,500 square foot retail store. The new shopping center site will also contain a 2.5 acre Outlot for future retail development.

      The developer will need to make significant improvements to the property to change it from its current agricultural use to a ten-acre big box retail store development. The retail development will expand the local tax base, increase local option sales tax revenues and create jobs.

      The Ottumwa City Council will consider entering into a development agreement for the project. A public hearing is tentatively planned for the council's regular meeting on August 2nd. The city is offering a $2 million financial incentive for the project subject to the investment of over $4 million between Continental Properties and Kohl's.

      In exchange for the city's participation, significant site improvements will be completed by the developer to prepare the 10 acre parcel for the Kohl's retail store. The developer will construct the store, complete all on-site improvements; which includes the site preparation of the Outlot for future retail development. Kohl's will create a minimum of 25 new full time equivalent jobs in the community.

      Based on projected sales, the City of Ottumwa would receive an estimated $64,000 per year in additional local option sales tax from the development; Wapello County would receive an estimated $29,000 per year in new local option sales tax revenue.

      Information provided by the City of Ottumwa