January 18th, 2023
Mankato, MN – The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) Foundation is announcing $856,000 in first round award decisions through the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. This program is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), the state’s principal economic development agency. Applications are currently being accepted through January 31, 2023 for just under $1 million in remaining funds, which includes $134,000 which is still set aside for grant requests of $1,500-$15,000.
Jessica Beyer, President & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. said, “This is the largest grant program ever administered by Greater Mankato Growth and we are thrilled to announce our first recipients after a year-long effort to secure and award these funds. These projects will be catalysts in promoting further investment into the region.”
Round 1 Award Recipients Include:
Axis Lofts – $80,000
The grant award will support phase one of a two phase construction project that will develop two blighted properties alongside US Hwy 169 into multipurpose buildings. Phase 1 will involve the redevelopment of the former “Dutler’s Bowl”. The project will consist of new storefront commercial spaces on the main level and three floors of apartment spaces above. Property redevelopment in this area has been the target of strategic planning initiatives.
Arch & Cable Hotel – $80,000
This project will develop a boutique hotel in Bridge Plaza. The hotel is projected to add 20 new rooms to the City Center and will include a buildout of the first-floor space in the building. The project is projected to create 4 new jobs by 2026.
Elevate 22 – $80,000
The Elevate 22 project addresses the lack of available warehouse space for lease in the community. A Commercial Campus will provide much needed warehouse space in an accessible area off East Victory Drive. The façade of this campus will be improved through the support of MSERP dollars. Another benefit of this space is that it will be available for lease, purchase, or lease to own. This will give local business owners the flexibility they need to expand and grow their business in our community.
Freedom Security and Surveillance – $70,000
The Freedom Security and Surveillance project will consist of redeveloping vacant land where blight recently existed along the Parkway Avenue District corridor and will result in the creation of up to 14 jobs and an increased tax base in Eagle Lake. The project is to construct a new 3,600 Sq Foot building to consolidate multiple rental sites into 1 new building. The grant will allow for a more aesthetically pleasing façade along Parkway Ave.
GAFA LLC – $10,000
MSERP funds were used to replace a rapidly deteriorating staircase on a prominent historic mixed-use building in downtown Nicollet. The project replaced a wooden staircase that was an eyesore and slowly becoming unsafe for use with a steel staircase that is wider, safer, and with better curb appeal. This will support both the commercial and residential tenants of the building.
Gerlach Building – $80,000
This project involves the renovation of the Gerlach Building, an early 20th century building located in Lower North Mankato. The building has not seen a significant renovation since 1965. The project will make life safety improvements as well as aesthetic improvements to the building.
Landmark Apartments, LLC – $80,000
Landmark Apartments, LLC will be using MSERP dollars to support the buildout for a restaurant/bar in the commercial space on the main floor. The 104 year old Landmark Building started as a Dodge Car Dealership and will now be repurposed to bring it into the 21st Century. By connecting it to a new hotel development and the Civic Center, the place will serve both local citizens and people visiting Mankato for various events.
LoCale Brewing Company – $16,000
Grant funds will support phases one and two of a three phase process to expand the brewery and taproom facilities of LocAle. These include replacement of a deteriorated parking lot, the addition of an outdoor trash enclosure, and the installation of equipment to expand brewery operations. An eventual phase three will include a physical expansion of the taproom with additional seating. The grant funds will improve the appearance of the property, create a safer parking area, and assist with business expansion. This project will result in the creation of 2-3 new full-time jobs.
MAH BKS, LLC – $80,000
MAH BKS, LLC will use these funds to support the demolition of a blighted building alongside Madison Avenue and construction of a multilevel mixed-use building. The project is projected to create 5 new commercial spaces and four housing units with 40 jobs created by 2026.
Menari Body Works -$70,000
Grant funds will be used to renovate a former pool hall that sat vacant for three years into a holistic day spa. The project involved a full building renovation with an expansion of Menari Body Works as well as the installation of a yoga studio and wellness workshop space in the basement. This space has allowed for wellness professionals and self-care instructors unaffiliated with Menari Body Works to bring their classes to the community.
Silos Mankato, LLC – $80,000
The Silos will be a new mixed use building with a combination of retail and multi-family apartments targeting 20-30 year old’s looking to live in the City Center. The site will add a new building on a lot that is currently vacant.
The Post at 401 – $80,000
A high priority of the development group is to honor the historical signifcance of the building. The Post at 401 will offer a flowing 60,000 sf site plan dedicated to a high-end restaurant, a speakeasy, event center, boutique hotel, along with overnight accommodations for guests to stay within the hub of commerce and community activities. This development will benefit the surrounding businesses and the community by attracting out-of-town guests for events and overnight stays. MSERP funds will support the refurbishment of historic features in the building.
Volk Investments Company, LLC – $50,000
Volk Investments Company, LLC will be using MSERP grant dollars to update a vacant building. These include replacement of damaged or outdated heating and lighting, improvements to the building structure, and replacement of a gravel parking lot with asphalt. These improvements will enhance the appeal of the building and surrounding space and will also support a new business that will occupy the formerly vacant space and will create an estimated 8 new jobs.
“This investment by the state is leveraging almost $40 million in additional private investment into these projects,” said Ryan Vesey, Economic Development & Research Manager. “We are excited to see this development come to fruition and are very excited to see what sort of applicants apply in Round 2.
Businesses seeking to develop or redevelop property in Blue Earth and Nicollet County can apply for grants to cover up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. Target corridors include the Mankato and North Mankato City Center, the US Hwy 60/169 corridor, and the US Hwy 14 corridor. Corridors are visible on this map: MN Main Street – Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)
All grant applications receive consideration from a community review team. Those recommendations are utilized by a third-party organization, Region Nine Development Commission, to make award decisions.
The grant application as well as application instructions and frequently asked questions are available at www.GreaterMankato.com/MSERP.
About Greater Mankato Growth
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) is comprised of four business units: Greater Mankato Growth, the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization; Visit Mankato, the local destination management organization; City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization; and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy.