The city of North Mankato has asked for a deadline extension on utilizing a state grant for a development project on the former Marigold Dairy site along Belgrade Avenue.

City Administrator Wendell Sande said an extension to April 30 from the original Dec. 31 deadline has been requested on a $128,000 infrastructure improvement grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

“We’re hoping they respond affirmatively because we know grant money is in great demand,” Sande said.

The extension would give the city until April 30 to bid out work contracts on public infrastructure at the site, namely the extension of sewer and water connections on Wall Street.

Developer Vanyo Moody hopes to build a retail-commercial-condo enterprise on the lower North Mankato site with construction contingent upon the sale of 90 percent of the units in the proposed four-story building.

His agreement with the city requires construction to start by Dec. 31 on the three-phase project, but there has been no activity to date. Moody could not be reached for comment.

The city has been trying for years to develop the lot left vacant by the closing and demolition of the dairy.

The site sits at the foot of Veterans Memorial Bridge at a primary entrance to the city and could serve as an anchor to lower North Mankato’s business district.

An earlier hotel project for that site was abandoned during the economic letdown following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

The latest plan would include first-floor office space that would be leased by one of Moody’s businesses (Computer Technology Solutions) with professional office space leased on the second floor and luxury condominiums on the third and fourth floors.

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