MANKATO — As the state and nation continued its relatively slow ascent out of the recession, the Mankato area saw a dizzying amount of new construction and business growth in 2013.
Topping the list is the recently started $15 million Tailwind Group project along Front Street and Riverfront Drive in Mankato. The project will see the demolition of Miller Motors and RedSky to help make way for a housing and retail building on Front Street, a parking ramp and a seven-story office tower along Riverfront Drive.
Construction in Mankato was up by a third in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.
The $8.9 million Mankato Clinic expansion on the Wickersham Campus is underway, with an opening slated for mid-2014.
VINE Faith in Action’s $5.5 million project near downtown is transforming a former college classroom building turned government office building into in an adult community center for area residents in “mid-life and beyond.” The complete gutting of the Nichols Office Center began this year, with completion expected in the middle of next year.
Imperial Plastics built a new $10 million building in the city’s east-side industrial park.
A flurry of retail and restaurant construction also took place this year, much of it in-filling vacant lots along Madison Avenue.
Pawn America recently opened a new store with more warehouse and retail space than its former site on Madison Avenue.
A new Panda Express restaurant also opened recently in front of Cub Foods on Madison Avenue.
Family Video and Marco's Pizza built a building along Victory Drive, behind McDonalds. The video store is open with the pizza shop to open soon.
Meanwhile, construction is moving fast on a strip mall and a standalone building in front of Crossroads Center, across Madison Avenue from the entrance of Walmart. The standalone building will be a Starbucks, which a few years ago closed a store near where the new one will be.