By Dan Linehan

The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MANKATO — A modern mixed-use development along the city’s historic Front and Cherry streets got a thumbs up Wednesday from the Planning Commission, which voted unanimously to approve the developer’s overall plan.

Its complexity — the project includes a seven-story office tower, a four-story residential and commercial building and a parking ramp — triggered this review of the plan, Community Development Director Paul Vogel said.

Photo of development conceptParking was the most-talked about aspect of the project.

The 145-stall, three-level public parking ramp would provide space for office workers during the day and visitors to bars and restaurants during the evening. A private ramp beneath the Front Street building would include 36 additional spaces, for the residents of the building. Plans call for 14 mostly two-bedroom, upscale apartments, with a total of 30 bedrooms.

City staff told the Planning Commission that the ramp would provide enough parking, but it’s dependent on a $1 million grant request to the state, which is disbursing $3 million during this round of funding.

Read the entire article here.