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Stewartville lands new mystery business

Dear Answer Man, do you know anything about a new business coming to Stewartville with a lot of jobs? I've heard it's a packaging company and a big deal.

I've heard (and the Post-Bulletin has reported) pretty much the same thing, but the deal is wrapped in a certain amount of mystery.

The Stewartville City Council approved the sale of close to 8 acres in the Schumann Business Park, west of U.S. 63 and south of I-90 by the Kwik Trip convenience store, on Jan. 24, for more than $800,000. The buyer was a development company called RDC National Inc., a Madison, Wis., company that designs and constructs commercial buildings for clients such as Fed Ex-Freight, Tractor Supply Co. and Monsanto.

The client represented by RDC National wasn't revealed at the Jan. 24 meeting, which is a little odd and has at least one council member uneasy, considering the project seems to be steaming along with city participation. The project has been called a package distribution center, though, and the minutes from a city council meeting in November described it as a 31,400-square-foot building. At that time, the proposed site was about 8.69 acres, and terms of the proposed agreement called for the city to immediately begin work on infrastructure for the site.

Apparently construction will begin this spring, with the facility up and running next year.


Council member Roger Hanson said at the Jan. 24 meeting that "basically, we hit a home run for economic development in Stewartville."

Mayor Jimmie-John King told me today that the company "has asked not to be identified" until the contract process is further along, possibly in March. He said council members all are aware of the name of the firm -- and yes, he thinks it's a big deal for Stewartville, with the potential for spinoff businesses in the business park, new housing demand and more. "That's the whole hope" for this project, he says.

The mayor says he's confident the project, whatever it is exactly,  is moving forward. "The agreements are signed, the money is in escrow" and related work is under way.

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