The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 6, 2014

City buys house for new parking lot

North Mankato home to be demolished or moved

NORTH MANKATO — A house at 410 Range Street will be purchased by the city, likely demolished and replaced with a parking lot to supplement downtown parking, the City Council decided unanimously Monday.

The city of North Mankato will spend $95,000 to buy the property and plans on demolishing it with city employees, who have done this sort of thing before. If the home were built differently it may have been moved, but its construction makes it a poor candidate for moving, City Planner Michael Fischer said.

“It’s a really unique floorplan that doesn’t really lend itself well to being moved,” he said.

City Administrator John Harrenstein said he’d “like to take one more look at that (moving the house) and auction off what can be auctioned off and demolish it.”

The money will come from the general fund, which is supported by property taxes.

Fischer said the building’s owners contacted the city more than a year ago about a possible sale, and a real estate company followed up more recently.

It’s not clear how many parking spaces will be created; city staff are considering different layouts.

Like most historic downtowns, North Mankato’s Belgrade Avenue is comprised of tightly packed buildings with little space for parking besides the street. The city is trying to find creative ways to help downtown businesses by providing free parking, Fischer said.

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