HEDRA will get report on Confluence at October meeting
By John McLoone
The City of Hastings appears to have been successful in its quest to keep an expansion of Intek Plastics here.
The company also has reportedly considered building the new facility in Ohio, Economic Development Coordinator Eric Maass told commissioners of the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority at its Sept. 8 meeting.
As part of a package the city put together with the State of Minnesota Employment and Economic Development Agency, the HEDRA would sell 3.1 acres adjacent to Intek’s property at 1000 Spiral Blvd., for $1 per acre. HEDRA commissioners recommended approval of that proposal.
Final details of the Intek plan are still in the works, Maass said, but signs are pointing to it taking place in Hastings.
The company plans a 60,000squarefoot project that would add 46 jobs paying an average $32.54 plus benefits over the next three years.
Major components of the DEED funding that has been approved for Intek would include $450,000 in Job Creation Funds, $275,000 in capital investment rebates as well as a $975,000 loan at 1 percent interest that the City of Hastings would administer. Intek would add more than $8 million in capital to the project as well.
Maass said the piece of land that will be transferred to Intek once the Hastings paperwork is finalized is north of Cranky Ape and south of the water tower.
Valuation was tabbed at $208,000, which will be the city’s contribution to the project.
“It was put in toward that in the application (with DEED). The state likes to see the city making the application have some skin in the game,” said Maass.
Maass said it’s somewhat ironic, since just last month, HEDRA did away with its “land for a dollar” program. At that time, though, it was brought up that it could be used as incentive for development in the future still.
“You would essentially be providing that land to the project as an enhancement for landing that project. The City of Hastings and the State of Minnesota were competing with another city in Ohio, hence the state’s participation in the project,” said Maass. “You’re probably thinking that at your meeting last month, you just rescinded your ‘land for a dollar’ program. This is a really good example of the way we can utilize providing that land at a reduced price when we know we’re competing against someone else for a project. When we look at this 60,000squarefoot expansion, $8 million private investment, 46 jobs paying $32.54 plus benefits, this is three acres wellspent and $208,000 wellinvested. This is a good deal for the City of Hastings.”
He said the proposed land sale will move to the city council for its Oct. 3 meeting, and indications are that Intek will build in Hastings. The site plan for the development is also slated to be before the city council that evening as well.
“The contracts are not yet signed,” he said. “All signs look very good. The signatures are not on the paper just yet.”
The sale of the 3.1 acres is contingent on Intek expanding here.
According to the Intek website, “Intek Plastics specializes in designing, manufacturing, assembling and delivering a wide variety of customized plastic extrusions.” Its products are used in such markets as construction, lighting, refrigeration and hydroponics. The company has more than 200 employees.
Intek has had a long history in Hastings. The firm was founded in 1961 by engineer Lyle Ward.
The company was awarded by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce as 2022 Business of the Year. The Minnesota State Senate passed a commendation in February honoring Intek for the award.
Downtown block one development
HEDRA made an arrangement earlier this year that it would negotiate exclusively with Mint Development on what is known as “block one,” a 1.5acre site along the Mississippi River, north of the Artspace building.
Mint had proposed the concept of commercial and residential units at the site, with the possibility of restaurant space on the parcel as well.
That agreement with Mint expired Sept. 10, and the firm isn’t interested in moving forward with a development on the site.
“We’ve had conversations with Mint in the last month. Mint has indicated they are no longer interested in pursuing a project at this time, nor are they interested in extending the agreement,” Director of Community Development John Hinzman said. “
The company cited encumbrances by power lines on the parcel, along with rising construction costs and interest rates as the reasons for walking away.
Hinzman was asked if there has been other interest in the property.
“We had one other potential development interested. I have not spoken to that entity in the last few months, but that was more on development potential in Hastings. I’m doubtful that individual would be interested in moving forward on this site at this time but might be interested in the future,” Hinzman said.
Confluence report, tour expected
In his development report, Hinzman said that work is progressing inside The Confluence.
The 100,000squarefoot building was the former home of Hudson Manufacturing. It’s “being reimagined into a boutique hotel, apartment, and commercial space including bike rental. Creation of a new riverfront park, deck overlook, and an expansion of the riverfront trail is also included,” according to the City of Hastings website.
HEDRA commissioners last month were eager for updates on the project, that was slated to open this year.
“On The Confluence, things continue to move on that one with some of the interior items that they’re doing,” said Hinzman. “We’ve been in discussion with them, sharing the concerns that were raised at the last meeting about having a better idea of what’s going on within the project.”
Representatives of The Confluence will attend the October HEDRA meeting., set for 6 p.m. Oct. 13.