SIOUX CITY -- The development of Sunnybrook Village heated up last August with the opening of a new, 218,000-square-foot Fleet Farm store, complete with its own on-site gas station.
Wisconsin-based Fleet Farm opened its 39th store -- its first ever in Sioux City -- on Aug. 17. A month later, a new Hobby Lobby opened in the new retail center at the intersection of Sunnybrook Drive and Sergeant Road.
Fleet Farm, founded in 1955, specializes in a mix of outdoor, apparel, hardware, farm, automotive and yard goods, among other offerings. The Sioux City store was among the first to test a new store layout in which most of the store is visible from any point in the store, without the view being obstructed by tall shelving.
Fleet Farm CEO Derick Prelle called the Sioux City store "the flagship of the fleet."
"We spent a lot of time talking to our customers to generate a list of ideas about what a perfect Fleet Farm would look like," Prelle said. "The big changes in a store like this are, it's much more shoppable. Wider aisles, easier to move around."
Prelle was confident that Fleet Farm will thrive in Sioux City, despite competition from other big box stores that offer a similar assortment of goods.
"We think there is no direct comparable to a Fleet Farm -- we think we're one-of-a-kind," he said. "Reason for that is, nobody puts this huge and eclectic mix of product together."
The exterior design features Fleet Farm's signature orange silo, which is also visible in the background of the company's logo.
Fleet Farm, headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, operates 42 stores in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The retailer has two other Iowa stores -- in Ankeny and Mason City -- and plans to open its first Sioux Falls location in 2019.
Prelle views the Sioux City location, with access to the Highway 75/20 bypass and Interstate 29, as ideal.
"We like to be centrally-located, we like to have excellent access to freeways and roads, which this side obviously does, and we like to be in an area that's convenient for shoppers -- so if there's other retailers, that's a great sign," he said.
The good times are still rolling at Sunnybrook. In early January, Lincoln, Nebraska-based Perry Reid Properties and Dallas, Texas-based Anthony Properties announced plans to add an additional set of apartments to the Summit at Sunnybrook Village, a recently-constructed complex. The new complex, "Summit Ridge," will add 73 luxury apartments to the area by 2020.
Mayor Bob Scott said the Sunnybrook development area, a 64-acre shopping and residential site at the southeast corner of Sioux City, has seen more than $100 million worth of development in the past several years.
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