Bare ground now marks the spot where white grain elevators once towered over southern Fort Dodge.
Land O'Lakes Inc. demolished those elevators and their accompanying warehouses this year in a major renovation of its property at 2827 Eighth Ave. S. Company employees are now using newly renovated space in the office building on the grounds as the roughly $1 million project nears its completion.
The project will ensure that Land O'Lakes and the 40 people it employs in Fort Dodge will remain in the community.
This weathered sign marks a now unused entrance to the Land O’ Lakes property on Eighth Avenue South in Fort Dodge. A warehouse and a large grain elevator once filled part of the field behind the sign, but they were demolished this year as part of a roughly $1 million project.
''Demolition of the feed mill and warehouses is complete,'' Rebecca Lentz, a company spokeswoman, said in a written statement.
The grain elevators and warehouses hadn't been used for 10 years, company representatives said in the past.
Lentz said employees relocated to newly renovated space in the office building during the first weekend of October.
''Renovation of the common areas of the building continues and will be complete by the end of October,'' she said.
The company invested $1,119,580 in the property, according to information previously presented to the City Council.
Local officials worked with Land O'Lakes representatives for most of 2011 to preserve the Fort Dodge facility while the company considered consolidating its offices.
The company received $200,000 worth of state assistance for the project, plus $40,000 from the city government. The city's share of the money came from a tax increment financing account, not the general fund that pays for public safety and many other government functions. Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue in a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.