Community Spotlight

Community spotlight: North Iowa

By April 7, 2022 April 12th, 2022 No Comments

North Iowa is home to Mason City and Clear Lake. As a regional hub for shopping, dining, entertainment, recreation and employment, the two cities enjoy a unique blend of world-recognized architecture and music, and a diverse local economy fueled by a variety of industries. 

North Iowa is ideally positioned on Interstate 35 halfway between Des Moines and Minneapolis with access to a strong transportation network to major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha. With access to two Class I railroads plus two commercial short-line railroads, and serviced by a commercial airport with daily flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the North Iowa region provides one of the richest transportation networks for its size in the country. 

Certified site 

Indianhead South consists of 145 acres of certified development-ready property in one of the state’s largest labor sheds. The property has all major utilities, with capacity, abutting or adjacent. With metro-amenities and main street appeal, the north Iowa corridor is excited to work with any new businesses interested in making and calling the region home. The region includes companies such as McKesson, Kraft-Heinz, Serta, Cargill Kitchen Solutions, ASSA ABLOY-Curries, Masonite and many other well-respected companies. 

Indianhead South is an excellent location for growing industries such as: 

  • Biofuels and renewable chemicals. 
  • Advanced manufacturing. 
  • Value-added agriculture. 
  • Food processing. 
  • Logistics and warehousing. 

Opportunity zone 

The Mason City Opportunity Zone is ready for investment. In 2018, the state of Iowa identified the Mason City Opportunity Zone as an area that shows potential for growth, and encouraged long-term investments that will allow it to thrive. Created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones offer tax incentives to groups that invest and hold their capital gains in zone assets or property. By investing in opportunity zones, investors stand to gain a temporary deferral on their capital gains taxes if they hold their investments for at least five years, and a permanent exclusion from a tax on capital gains from the opportunity zone’s investments if held for 10 years. 

The Mason City Opportunity Zone has already drawn considerable investment interest and is a prime location for complementary development.  

Incentives and economic development resources 

Local leaders work closely with the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation and the state of Iowa to help companies relocate in north Iowa.  

Depending on a company’s specific needs and plans, available programs include small business assistance, EB-5, tax increment financing, workforce training programs, redevelopment tax credits, innovation funding, corporate tax credits, research activities credits and other business incentives. State programs such as the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship program and the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training program also help companies prepare workers to meet their needs. Award-winning North Iowa Area Community College is in Mason City and serves as a key partner for customizable training programs and as a talent pipeline to serve the needs of our employers.  

Do you want to learn more about the north central Iowa business environment? 

Contact Jim Bowman, senior business attraction manager. 

Photo caption: Bushel Boy Farms 16-acre greenhouse is located in Mason City, Iowa.