New businesses appear


by Sheyenne Manning/Staff Writer

After four months of construction, Indianola and surrounding residents will soon be able to shop at Maurices and dine at the Maid-Rite in the new strip mall being built at 1214 North Jefferson, in front of the Wal-Mart.    

Tim Zisoff, Indianola’s city manager, said that the city doesn’t get involved with recruiting businesses to set up shop in Indianola. The city simply deals with the details of zoning and type of establishment within that zoning. 

Three more tenants, Great Clips, a sporting goods store and another business are expected to be a part of the strip mall when their permits are finalized. The building has the capacity to hold up to five businesses.  

Chuck Burgin, director of community development, described the building as being “flex base,” which means “depending on the client and how much square footage, they’re allowed and have the capability of adjusting the walls on the interior to fit the need.” 

Myles Kappelman, executive director of Indianola Development Association said other businesses may be drawn by the relative convenience. 

“Lots of businesses, particularly retail, will go into a location that has already been reinsured by another corporation,” he said. 

Often times, businesses use outlets near a Wal-Mart to bring in more customers.  

“The amount of a traffic a Wal-Mart generates is so big and would provide such a big customer base, some companies use that as a strategy,” said Kappelman. 

The new businesses are expected to benefit not only the Indianola community, but the surrounding communities as well.  

Kappelman said it’s likely that the smaller communities around Indianola, a “retail community,” are more likely to spend their money here in order to avoid driving in Des Moines. 

“More dollars will be focused on the community and that means sales tax, and sales tax helps the local school districts,” Kappelman said. “So anytime you’re getting more retail in the community you’ll get more dollars circulating through the community.” 

Career Counselor Erin Swancutt said Career Services at Simpson tries to build relationships with businesses by making themselves available and informing them about the Career Services office on campus. 

Swancutt said new businesses will begin hiring employees as they get closer to opening. She hopes Simpson can get involved in helping new businesses recruit workers.  

“We let them know what we have to offer and let them know how they can contact students,” Swancutt said. 

Simpson students are encouraged to apply because employers say they are typically strong workers for businesses like Maurices and Maid-Rite.  

Overall, Swancutt is in favor of the construction, realizing its potential impact on the community. 

“I think it’s a great idea,” Swancutt said. “Anything they can do to build up the Indianola community is a great thing.”