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City of Norwalk finalizing plans for Norwalk Central district

Norwalk is in the last stages of planning a residential and commercial area called Norwalk Central.

NORWALK, Iowa — The City of Norwalk is finalizing plans for Norwalk Central, a project that has been in the works for years according to Hollie Zajieck, the city's director of economic development.

Norwalk Central is 130 acres of mixed-use space including residential, commercial and recreational areas.

Zajieck said the project is expected to start this spring.

"We'll see more hotels, lots of restaurants we're getting a lot of interest from that recreation, activity type user," Zajieck said. "It's just going to be really exciting."

One of the first projects set to be built is a 55,000 square-foot sports facility with an indoor basketball court and track. Zajieck said the plans between the owner of the sports complex and the city have been in the works for a while. 

"We were able to develop this much larger project that the whole community will really get to benefit from," she said. "And then attached to the sports campus area will be about 20 acres of outdoor athletic fields."

In addition to the privately-owned complex, the city also has plans for a public sports building. 

Zajieck said the city expects the sports sites alone to bring in at least 1 million visitors a year along with $16 million in revenue.

She said it will not only help the city, but also the state. 

"We're looking at probably $2.4 million in taxes just for the state of Iowa from this project and these are very conservative numbers," Zajieck said. "Overall, the financial and the economic impact will be really massive for not just Norwalk but Warren County, Polk, Dallas and the state of Iowa."

The next critical steps for the project will happen over the coming weeks. The city council still needs to approve permits for developers to move ahead with their plans.

Zajieck said if all goes according to plan, the sports complex should be breaking ground this spring.

She also said another development is in the works is in the Northshore area. The area will host Norwalk's first hotel and other commercial spaces.

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