SIOUX CITY | It is hard to imagine the Sioux City shopping scene without the host of national and local stores in southeast Morningside.
But just more than a decade ago, there was no Lakeport Commons dominating the area in a 52-acre commercial development east of the intersection of Sergeant Road and South Lakeport Street.
Since it opened in the fall of 2005, Lakeport Commons has flourished. The place was a big destination for the holiday shopping season recently completed.
There are longstanding stores such as Kohl's and Best Buy.
There also is a “restaurant row” on the south side of Lakeport Commons, where such popular spots as Olive Garden, Red Robin and Golden Corral have been for years. Other restaurants such as Qdoba and Old Chicago have joined the row more recently.
There are more than three dozen businesses in Lakeport Commons, running from places with 1,250 square feet to some of about 60,000 square feet, such as Gordmans. Situated in pod-style presentations, the businesses make driving right up to their front doors as easy as possible.
InvenTrust Property Management, of Oak Brook, Illinois, owns most but not all of the retail space at Lakeport Commons.
Dave Collins, InvenTrust’s executive vice president, portfolio management, said the center’s merchant mix has worked well to draw shoppers. People routinely come from a radius of more than 60 miles to visit Lakeport Commons.
“Lakeport Commons is a location of choice for retailers that are seeking a presence in the market. This open-air center draws shoppers from a very wide area that encompasses portions of Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska," Collins said.
"We target store operators that fit the needs of the Siouxland shopper – good values, a selection of items that will suit the whole family, and a mix of services and dining options. When customers drive an hour or more to visit Lakeport Commons, they can accomplish many errands in one trip -- purchase apparel for the family, get an eye or dental appointment and a haircut, as well as stop for lunch and dinner.”
Sioux City economic development director Marty Dougherty said the businesses have been critical to the growth of Sioux City.
"When Lakeport Commons came along I believe it made a bold statement about how Sioux City would be established as a regional destination, and created a more modern retail experience that people enjoy today," Dougherty said.