IEDA Board approves financial assistance for EVCO to renovate former ShopKo building

MASON CITY — The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Board of Directors this morning approved a financial assistance application for the company that recently announced they were purchasing the former ShopKo building in Mason City and transforming it into a golf car and electric vehicle manufacturing and assembly facility.

Twin Cities-based EVCO Holdings LLC announced two weeks ago that it was in a preliminary agreement to purchase the building, with the company intending to create up to 115 jobs over its first five years. The company will create various product lines in the recreational electric vehicle market, which will include Streetrod Golf Cars and various electric-vehicle based products and components. Pritchard Companies of Clear Lake is an EVCO sister company, and EVCO says they have several target customers including Pritchards and Winnebago Industries.

The board approved a $300,000 forgivable loan to EVCO as part of their High Quality Jobs program, which provides assistance to qualifying businesses to off-set some of the costs incurred with locating, expanding or modernizing a facility. The board also approved a $45,000 Sales, Service and Use Tax Refund.

The IEDA’s Alaina Santizo says in her conversations with Mason City city officials, they are happy to see a vacant building be repurposed.  “This is a vacant former retail space that will have reuse. Really unique, which they seem really excited about as well.”

Board member Emily Schmitt of Clear Lake says it’s a good project for the area.  “I’m happy to see something go into the ShopKo building, it’s been vacant for a long time. This is something that’s going to feed local businesses in the area as well with what’s going in there, so it’s going to be a nice supply chain feeder for the area, which we all know that’s a big focus the last couple of years too. I’m excited to see what it can do to the area.”

Board member Mark Kittrell of Cedar Falls says the EVCO application is a good use of the High Quality Jobs program. “It’s perfect. Lots of boxes get checked with this one. Good work and thank you for Mason City and the support they’ve loaned to the project as well.”

The IEDA award is contingent on a local match by the City of Mason City, which plans to provide a 10-year, 100% Tax Increment Financing rebate of a $320,000 on improvements made to the facility.