The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 21, 2014

South Front project grows

5-story tower to be built this summer

(Continued)

The new development means the city will need to add one more level to the parking ramp it is building amid the new buildings. What was to be a three levels will now be four, if approved by the City Council. The council, acting as the Economic Development Authority, is being asked at its Monday meeting to allow the city to move ahead with a feasibility study for a bigger ramp, which will also be built this summer.

The additional parking space will support employees in the area as well as nighttime visitors to the downtown entertainment district.

Hentges said the massive, multi-building construction in one block will be hectic, but getting it all done in a season is something everyone is looking forward to.

"The businesses (downtown) are putting up with the construction but they see it as a positive. What the businesses are excited about is this is packing in 200 or 300 employees who will have lunch or whatever."

Hentges said that his stress is to make sure the city infrastructure, including the ramp, is delivered on time as promised.

"Tailwind is doing what it should and the businesses are putting up with (construction), our burden is to deliver what we need to in time."

Smith said he, too, is happy all of the construction can be done at once.

"The neighbors give us support, but I know they're struggling through this. So I want to get it done as soon as possible."

This past winter, crews demolished the Miller Motors and Red Sky Lounge buildings along Front Street to make way for the four-story building.

The development has brought Tailwind Group to the public forefront.

In the past few years Tailwind has been involved in an array of commercial and multi-housing renovation and construction projects in the area, including the construction or renovation of several strip malls.

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