Moving ahead with Dick's Sporting Goods in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Moving ahead with Dick's Sporting Goods in Waterloo

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- What was once a busy grocery store, looks like a ghost town. Instead of tumbleweed blowing, you'll see the occasional car passing through the old Econo Foods parking lot. But if all goes as planned, the dead zone is getting new life.

"More employment, more jobs, more entertainment to the area," said Waterloo Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson.

Dick's Sporting Goods is in the final stages of opening a Waterloo store just south of San Marnan Drive. The Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission gave their okay to a 9,476 square foot addition to the building at their meeting Tuesday afternoon. Now it just takes the Waterloo City Council's approval, and construction crews can start breaking ground.

"The main store would be renovated for a Dick's Sporting Goods store, and the addition, that would be added, would add one or more - one or two more - tenants to the building," said Anderson.

That means, after seven years standing empty, there could be as many as three new stores on Flammang Drive just in time for back-to-school shopping. It may seem like a big change in a short amount of time. But Dick's Sporting Goods has worked out every detail - down to exactly where you can find a brand new turkey fryer.

"A lot of times, they're working behind the scenes and we're not even aware of it as a city because they don't necessarily want anyone to know what they're working on," Anderson explained.

Some of it is still hush-hush. They're not saying which store - or two - would move in with Dick's. But - like the news - any business is good business.

"More shoppers brings more people into the community, and better for the businesses," added Anderson.

There won't be much change happening in the parking lot area. All the sewer and ground work is still in place from Econo Foods. The plans should be on the agenda for approval at the next city council meeting. The company overseeing the project wants to get started March 1, 2010, and finish construction in twenty weeks.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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