OTTUMWA — The former Ottumwa Target building is getting a new tenant.
The Iowa City Veterans Health Care System is moving its Ottumwa outpatient clinic to 1020 N. Quincy Ave.
“All of our outpatient locations are leased space,” said Bryan Clark, public affairs officer for the Iowa City VA. “We opened the Ottumwa clinic about eight or nine years ago.”
He said they typically run on a 10-year lease cycle, but they’re getting a jump-start on the expanded clinic to allow for remodeling before the current lease, at 1009 E. Pennsylvania Ave., is up.
“It made more sense to expand at that time rather than renew because it was beyond its capacity,” Clark said of the move into the former Target, which will also be a lease.
Target closed its doors in Ottumwa in January 2016. In August of that year, discussions of new tenants for the building began with a possible mini-mall approach in mind.
In May 2017, Kerr Real Estate acquired the site with the idea of multiple tenants for “Kettle Creek Commons,” including a garden supply store with an outdoor sales area. Dunham’s Sports was one of the possible tenants, but it moved into Quincy Place Mall with the MC Sports location became available.
“The great thing about getting a retail space like that is that is is one big open space, so we’re able to build it to fit the requirements of the VA,” Clark said.
The Ottumwa clinic currently serves about 2,000 patients, he said. A release from the VA states that the new location will include “expanded services such as improved examination and treatment space, dedicated women’s health exam rooms, and increased accommodation for primary care, mental health, pharmacy, physical therapy and more.”
In addition to those, Clark said the space will also allow for the expansion of tele-health. He said the VA has a vast network for tele-health and it will allow specialists to look at and address patient issues remotely.
“We’ll have room to expand and re-evaluate what resources we need because we’ll have extra space,” Clark said. The VA release says the expected date for opening is in the fall of 2020. “It’s hard to be precise on that because we haven’t started construction,” Clark said.
The new location, according to the release, will add about 8,700 square feet of space for a total nearing 15,000 square feet. Clark said the VA has a process for selecting its locations. “We solicit bids from area building owners and then evaluate those based on certain criteria, such as access to bus routes and parking, grade them out, look at those bids and make a selection.
“One of the other advantages of that location is that it’s easy for patients to access,” he said. “I don’t know how many 15,000-square-foot spaces you have that are just waiting for someone to rent.”