The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 23, 2013

Developments, changes in the works in Mankato

By Tim Krohn
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — One of the biggest downtown developments in recent history is expected to get final Mankato City Council approval Monday night as is a major development project slated for land behind Madison East Center.

Mankato-based Tailwind Group is planning to remake a block between Front Street and Riverfront Drive, where Pagliai’s, Pub 500 and Miller Motors are.

The nearly $16 million project, which could get started this spring, will bring a multi-story office tower, a five-story retail and apartment building and a parking ramp.

The six- or seven-story office tower, on the corner of Riverfront Drive and Warren Street, would bring a new business to town that would employ about 30 people with another 100 or more employees in the building coming from local businesses that relocate there.

Another five-story building would be built along South Front Street, where Miller Motors and RedSky Lounge are. Those two buildings would be razed. RedSky would locate in part of the first floor of the new building. Three floors of the building would feature 15 upscale apartments.

A pedestrian walkway would run between the new building and Pagliai’s Pizza to a parking ramp to be located behind the five-story building and adjacent to the office tower. A piece of land on the corner of Riverfront Drive and Cherry Street is slated for a possible future tower.


Kearney project

to begin soon

A prime 35-acre parcel of land behind Madison East Center is to be developed into high-end apartments as well as businesses. That project, too, is slated for final council approval Monday night.

The long-anticipated development will finally bring a permanent connection of Adams Street behind Madison East and likely spur office and store developments behind the mall and along Victory Drive North.

The initial development would include three three-story buildings on the west side of the property containing a total of 172 housing units. The housing will overlook ravines and a pond with heated underground parking.

The apartment development is one of the largest market-rate developments in recent history.

The project will bring a permanent connection of Adams Street, which currently is connected by a makeshift street on the back side of Madison East — a street bordered by concrete barriers.

The east side of the property — along Victory Drive North — will be used for future commercial and office development.

The property — owned by the Kearney grandchildren — was purchased in the 1950s by Dr. Wynn Kearney Sr. At the time, the land was part of a 160-acre farm far outside the city of Mankato.


Mathnasium moving to old DQ

The former Dairy Queen building next to Madison East Center is being renovated for Mathnasium, which is now in a strip mall next to Drummers Garden Center and Floral.

“We need a bigger space to service more demand,” said Mayuree Tanawongsuwan, owner of the Mathnasium franchise, which opened five years ago.

The business provides tailored after-school help with math.

“It can be to help kids who struggle or kids that are advanced in math. We do assessments to determine the foundation of the students,” she said.

“Learning math, you need to take a bottom-up approach — build a strong foundation and then build up.”

She hopes to be in the new location May 1.


Kabobs to be Lucky Bucket

The saga of Kabobs Skewer & Drink on Front Street in downtown Mankato continues.

The business opened in spring 2011 then closed temporarily during a reported ownership reshuffle. After reopening for several months, the business was closed again early this year.

The business will soon reopen as Lucky Bucket with a slogan of “Eat, Drink, Get Lucky.”

Owner Willie Huebner did not return phone calls seeking comment.