HANNIBAL | Renovations to the downtown building that will house Hannibal's Dutch Country General Store are running ahead of schedule.
During Tuesday night's meeting of the Hannibal City Council, Corey Mehaffy, executive director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, reported that the initial “build out” of the structure at 305 N. Main St. was expected to wrap up either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.
It was initially anticipated that the store would open for business on April 1.
“Obviously there are other things besides the 'build out' that need to be accomplished before they open the store, but that is good news that it is ahead of schedule. We should see it opening soon,” Mehaffy said.
When the store does open a cooperative development agreement between the city and Dutch Country Living will be in place. A resolution detailing the agreement was approved by the council Tuesday night.
“The city did offer a couple of different things to support the project,” Mehaffy said.
One of the incentives provided by the city was a one-time rebate on its 2.5 percent sales tax on building equipment and materials being used on the initial “build out,” provided they were purchased locally.
“One of the goals behind this program is to incent them, whether it is an existing company or new company coming into our community, to use our local contractors,” Mehaffy said.
The city also has agreed to share with the company sales tax revenues generated by taxable sales at the Dutch Country General Store which exceed $500,000 annually over a five-year period.
An Iowa-based company, Dutch Country Living announced in mid December of last year that it intended to open a Dutch Country General Store in downtown Hannibal in the spring of 2020. Mehaffy said the store will create at least two full-time jobs with an annual salary in excess of $34,000, plus a number of part-time jobs.
Including the 'build out,' fixtures and lease, Dutch Country Living is making a total capital investment of over $200,000 in Hannibal, Mehaffy said.
Mehaffy is upbeat about the new retail member of the city's historic district.
“I anticipate them to be great corporate citizens in the community, but especially in downtown Hannibal,” he said.
Dutch Country General Stores offer what is described as “unique, nostalgic, and often handmade product lines which included old-fashioned toys, traditional Amish wood furniture, bulk foods, baked items, candy, heirloom quilts, candles, jar goods and more.”