The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 2, 2013

Ojanpa: Front Street preps for the high life


He also has an “out,” if you will. If the apartment gambit isn’t successful, those spaces can become absorbed into the mixed-use matrix of office and commercial development he hopes to implement.

Smith, who has developed and redeveloped strip malls in the Madison Avenue and Minnesota State University areas, also has been heavily involved in student housing ventures.

Perhaps that’s why the thought of college students enjoying themselves en masse outside his buildings doesn’t faze him. In fact, he suggests that Mankato’s zeitgeist is the better for it.

“Without the college, Mankato is another Worthington,” he says.

That’s not a knock on either community. That’s just a project developer offering a little candid sociology.


Brian Ojanpa is a Free Press staff writer. Call him at 344-6316 or email 


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