The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 5, 2013

Marigold site developer scales down proposal for next phase

NORTH MANKATO — The Marigold apartment complex project proposal is back — at about half the size of one previously rejected.

Developer Van Moody is proposing a four-story 64-unit apartment on land off of Belgrade Avenue at the foot of the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The first floor would be covered parking with apartments on the upper three floors.

Moody built the first Marigold building on the site a couple of years ago, which houses his computer business and four apartments on the second floor. The remaining land is the site of the former Marigold Dairy and is owned by the city’s Port Authority.

A proposed Marigold II project last year faltered under the pressure of public opposition and the inability of the project to legally get setback variances that would have been required. That proposal was six stories and 106 upscale apartment units.

The new plan will go before the Planning Commission this month for review and then will be sent to the Port Authority, which will decide if the plan should get tax-increment financing, which allows the additional property-tax revenue generated by the project to be used to help pay for the project.

The new plan was announced at Tuesday morning’s Port Authority meeting, although details of the plan were not unveiled and no official action was needed.

But Port Authority members praised Moody for going back to the drawing board.

“This is exactly what I was looking for — about half the size,” said Commissioner Greg Abbott.

Said Commissioner Dave Arnold: “A different developer could have just thrown up his hands.”

Commission Chairman Bob Knutson said getting people to live downtown may be the last hope for the city center. “We need to do something to bring vitality downtown because we can’t keep throwing subsidies into the downtown (businesses).”

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