The league cited Orange City’s Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project — bringing to mind an image of a mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes — was a unique public/private partnership conceived after a fire destroyed the historic Hawkeye Building in the summer of 2008—taking with it a Hallmark store and a popular clothier.
Phase one of the Hawkeye project was the Hawkeye Center — a replacement building on the corner where the 2008 fire was. The two-story brick structure with Dutch-themed architecture complements Orange City’s “Dutch Village” concept. The upper level features five high-end residential loft condominiums, with underground parking for tenants, and the main street level features a Hallmark Store with an ice cream and coffee shoppe.
Phase two was the Prairie Winds Events Center on the city’s east side. The 17,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility features authentic old-world Dutch architecture on the exterior, and a unique Northern Plains decor inside.
Phase three is the new shared performing arts center at Unity Christian High School, a shared project between the city and the school.
Other projects, such as the new Hampton Inn were also on the list.
Other area cities honored as All-Star Communities by the League of Cities included the city of Spencer, honored for their housing initiatives to help increase the workforce, and Storm Lake, honored for their innovative flood control projects.