Few projects have generated as much controversy as the Corridor of Commerce in recent Fort Dodge history.
Improvements to Fifth Avenue South in Fort Dodge were met with derision by many, who sneered about "hitching posts," "tombstones" and other aesthetic improvements that surely, the naysayers said, were nothing but a waste of money.
Fortunately, the forward-thinking view which saw Fifth Avenue's untapped potential as worthy of investment, prevailed.
Recent developments continue to give lie to the pronouncements of the pessimists.
A slate of names new to the Fort Dodge economic scene - Panchero's, Jimmy John's, Holiday Inn Express and CVS/pharmacy - will soon be familiar to area shoppers as their storefronts open on the corridor.
Do we believe this flurry of economic activity is solely the result of flower beds and brick crosswalks? Of course not.
However, we quite agree with the assessment of Dennis Plautz, chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, who told The Messenger that the improvements have enhanced the city's image and they have been good for business development. The fact remains that a well-kept corridor is more attractive to business investment.
And the numbers don't lie: as reported in The Messenger Sunday, more than $11.7 million has been invested in the area in recent months by new and existing businesses.
Moving forward always involves an element of risk - and developing the Corridor of Commerce was no different.
However, the returns on that investment are increasingly obvious. We encourage the city to continue on the road now traveled and keep moving Fort Dodge forward.