With a lot of momentum from successful projects getting underway in 2022 or nearing completion, the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority is ready for 2023.
Margaret “Peggy” Horsch was elected new president of the group at the HEDRA meeting Thursday at Hastings City Hall. Trevor Johnson is vice president, and Ben Anderson is treasurer.
New members Estrella Carter and Hastings City Councilmembers Jen Fox and Dave Pemble took the oath of office at the onset of the meeting.
“Veteran” member Bruce Goblirsch, who has served since 2020 was president last year. He nominated Horsch for the position for 2023.
“It’s been fun being here, but I’m ready to move on,” he said, handing the gavel to Horsch.
HEDRA expects to have representatives of Rokos Advisors at its February meeting. The firm is marketing the 50acre site on behalf of HEDRA in the Hastings Industrial Park.
Rokos provided HEDRA with a Traffic & Development Analysis that shows traffic counts on major roads in and around Hastings. By next month, they plan to provide a labor study on the community as part of its work to land a prospective developer for the Hastings site.
Economic Development Coordinator Eric Maass said the data the city is receiving from Rokos will help in many ways.
“We’re getting a lot more than just a sign in the ground and a couple cold calls,” he said. “They’re really providing tangible data.”
The firm is finding that buildings on large sites aren’t being developed with hopes of finding tenants.
“Banks just aren’t lending like they were on spec industrial,” said Maass. “It’s more build to suit.”
The site Rokos is marketing is at Spiral Boulevard and Enterprise Avenue. The traffic portion of their study shows 31,000 vehicles per day on Hwy. 61 past downtown Hastings. After Hwy. 55, that number drops to 28,000 vehicles per day. Hwy. 55 has 14,900 vehicles per day.
The count on Hwy. 46 is 10,130 vehicles per day. The count on Hwy. 316 is 17,800 vehicles per day off of Hwy. 61, and 14,200 vehicles per day to the south.
There are 4,900 vehicles per day entering the Hastings Industrial Park.
Planning was underway for the annexation of land on Red Wing Boulevard and Michael Avenue for a housing development last year, but that project never came to fruition.
A new developer, Land Equity, is reviving plans for “substantially more units,” said Community Development Director John Hinzman.
Planning is underway for development of the site into a mixture of single-family homes, two-family homes, townhouses and apartment units.
Hinzman said a neighborhood meeting is planned for later this month to introduce conceptual plans, which could come before the city council in February.
The land would need to be annexed into the city. It is currently in Ravenna Township.
Other development updates: The Confluence – Hinzman said, “I was at The Confluence last week. They’re just about done with their HVAC, and all their internal equipment is in there.”
The development in the former Hudson Manufacturing building along the Mississippi River on Second Street will include a hotel, restaurant and event space and apartments. It was projected in the fall to open in late May of this year.
“They’re getting ready to do some finish work out there. That’s a good sign,” said Hinzman.
Lake Isabelle Flats – Construction is underway with a crane on site on the former UBC building downtown. Nathan Stencil is development an 89-unit apartment building.
Enclave Apartments –
Construction of the first 100unit building is underway, and contractors are heating the site to work this winter. The development is located on 33rd Street near Terry’s Hardware.
315 Pine Street, former Thorwood Inn – The historic inn burned in 2017. The building owner, Pavel Zakharov, told the Hastings Heritage Preservation Commission last summer that he is working to renovate the building. Hinzman said city and Historic Preservation officials met with the building owner last week “to get a better idea of what’s going on there.”
Neighbors have long complained about the burnt-out building being an eyesore.
Hinzman said Zakharov is awaiting architectural plans.
“We met with him today. He’s promised to get those to us by the end of February,” said Hinzman. “We told him we’ve spent a lot of time and patience waiting. He’s the third owner of the building, so it’s not all on his shoulders. People’s patience is running out. We have the ability to take action to compel things to happen if he can’t do it on his own. Like everyone else in the community right now, we’re anxious to see something happen.”