9/23/2019 9:44:00 AM Prime business real estate available - seven lots with guaranteed visibility
Take a look around Mt. Lake and you will see Mt. Lake Economic Development Authority's accomplishments. The EDA's mission is to serve the socioeconomic needs of the community; enhance business climate; encourage retail, commercial and industrial business expansion; and work with members of the community to accomplish these goals.
The EDA includes: Rob Anderson, director; Tabitha Garloff, assistant; seven voting members; and four nonvoting advisory members.
Mt. Lake Commercial Park
The streets are paved, water and sewer are in place and street lights are installed in the commercial park, a new development on the southwest edge of Mt. Lake near Highway 60. Cottonwood County Soil and Water Conservation will plant 40 trees along the north stormwater pond.
Casey's General Store has purchased one of the eight lots for sale. Construction on the building that will house Casey's began in May.
Steps are underway to market the remaining seven lots to businesses looking for a location to build, expand or relocate. A sign facing Highway 60 has been installed that shows lot layout and provides information and contact information.
The EDA held a strategic planning session on community vitality, facilitated by the University of Minnesota Extension Center. Several strategies that can have immediate and longterm results in marketing the park were identified and will be pursued. A key component is for the EDA to visit with Mt. Lake businesses.
"The EDA is excited to see construction of a new Casey's store and I believe it will serve as a catalyst for future development," Anderson said. "Highway 60 is a huge benefit to the commercial park. We want to have businesses that draw people off the highway to see what's in the park and also see businesses in the downtown area, parks, lake and trail and many other great assets of the community."
Ethan Clerc will shoot a video to include community assets and feature the commercial park.
Marketing Mt. Lake
The city's website continues to be the number one marketing tool for the community. The city increased their social media presence on Facebook with expanded information on city council meetings, new or updated city policies and upcoming events.
The design for a new welcome sign was approved. The sign will be placed in the commercial park.
Over the past 20 years the EDA had great success with building housing opportunities for Mt. Lake and area citizens. In 2000 the EDA constructed the 12-unit Heritage Estates town homes on County Road 1. Mason Manor, a four-plex town home structure on Estate Drive, was constructed in 2010. All 16 town house units have had 100% occupancy. There are more than 20 people on the waiting list, according to Anderson.
In 2007, the EDA approved the construction of Lakeview Estates, a new housing sub-division with 16 lots. Five homes are now located in Lakeview Estates.
Most recently, the EDA took steps to have a housing market feasibility study conducted for a downtown redevelopment housing project on the corner of 10th Street and Fourth Avenue. While the market and financial feasibility studies supported the project to build two four-plex town homes, ultimately members of the EDA and city council elected not to pursue the project. Comments made at a public hearing included the desire to maintain the property for future retail development.
"While housing remains a very important component to economic development, the EDA does not have any immediate plans to build additional new housing developments," Anderson said.
Potential for vacant buildings
The EDA helps owners of downtown buildings, with or without a vacant storefront, to realize their full potential of occupancy by a retail or service-related business.
The EDA also helps property owners find a way to make improvements to ensure buildings are ready for occupancy and assists owners with vacant storefronts to market their properties through the city website.
EDA made improvements to the building owned by the EDA that houses Little Care Bears Day Care on Prince Street. A basement tiling system was installed and exterior vinyl siding were installed last summer.
This is a paid advertisement that ran in the Progress edition that came out in June.