The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: Monday, September 9, 2013

MANKATO — A development agreement between the city of Mankato and the Tailwind Group development firm was approved by the City Council Monday night, the last major step before construction of a $15 million office, retail and residential remaking of a block of the city center.

The city and state, which is providing more than $3 million in grants, are contributing a total of about $6.1 million in various incentives, loans and tax increment financing, primarily for construction of a multi-story parking ramp. Tailwind is financing a seven-story office tower that will have a taxable value of more than $7 million and a four-story mixed use building valued at nearly $3 million.

Together, the improvements will transform South Front Street in the block surrounded by Cherry and Warren Streets and Riverfront Drive. Demolition of some existing structures is set to begin later this year and the new buildings will begin to rise in 2014 and 2015.

Read the entire article here.


The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Tim Krohn

Date: Saturday, August 28, 2013

NORTH MANKATO — The former Ray’s Market building in Upper North Mankato, most of which has sat empty in recent years, is being renovated and will house a Dollar Tree store, featuring a grocery and freezer aisle.

Also leasing space in the complex will be a logistics company.

Subway, which has been in part of the building, will remain.

A bank had earlier vacated one space in the building and American Family Insurance is moving from the building down Commerce Drive to a strip mall containing Erbert and Gerbert’s.

Kyle Smith of Tailwind Group said the new businesses are scheduled to open Nov. 1.

Dollar Tree, which operates a store near Old Country Buffet in Mankato, will lease 10,000 square feet in the retail complex.

Ray’s Market grocery store closed more than four years ago with a few businesses leasing part of the building. The Glen Taylor Trust purchased the Ray’s building and leased some of the remaining space out for storage.

Ray’s was built with controversial and heavy subsidies and the city lost money as it — and a former Ray’s Market downtown — struggled and closed.

Tailwind purchased the property this past spring.

Smith said the building is being totally renovated and will look more like a traditional retail center with separate entrances for each business.


Mark Fischenich

The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Construction should begin in August on the city’s first office tower, the first major privately-financed office building to rise downtown in more than four decades and the largest downtown development project in nearly two decades ago.

The South Front Street redevelopment, which will include a seven-story glass office tower and a four-story mixed-use building, is on the verge of final city approval following a meeting Monday night of the Mankato City Council, acting as the city Economic Development Authority.

The city, with assistance from a state grant, is largely financing a $4.9 million parking ramp and surface lot to serve the complex, and the EDA indicated support for tax-increment financing to cover much of the city’s share. Including the ramp, the entire project is expected to total between $15 million and $16 million.

“It’s the biggest development we’ve had downtown since the civic center,” said 14-year Councilman Jack Considine of the arena built in 1995. “It’s a block of town that certainly needs to be upgraded.”

Mankato-based developer Tailwind Group will lease space to Profinium Financial, bringing between 41 and 46 new jobs to the city center. Several existing Mankato businesses — including Abdo, Eick and Meyers; Paulsen Architects; and Bark.L Engineering — are expected to relocate to the complex, allowing for the retention of about 100 other jobs, according to city documents.

The office tower will be built on the corner of Riverfront Drive and Warren Street, and a second five-story building will be built along South Front Street on the site currently occupied by buildings housing Miller Motors and the Red Sky Lounge, which will be razed. Miller Motors is moving to a new location and Red Sky is expected to locate in the first floor of the new building, which will also feature 15 upscale apartments, according to Tailwind.

With parking already tight on the block, which is home to a number of bars and restaurants, the parking ramp and a new surface lot across Front Street will add 168 stalls. The ramp will be largely dedicated to office workers during the day but will be open to public parking in the evening and on weekends.

Read entire article here.


By Tim Krohn

The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013

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.

Read the entire article here.


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.


By Al Strain

Owatonna People’s Press, Owatonna, MN

Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

OWATONNA — The south end of Oak Avenue in Owatonna is going to be getting a makeover after a lot between Barney Street and 13th Street has sat vacant for a number of years.

The lot — currently home to an abandoned Hardee’s and a vacant Budget Mart gas station — is set to be redeveloped after the Tailwind Group, a group based out of Mankato, purchased the property.

The deal wouldn’t have been finalized without help from the Community Development Office from the City of Owatonna. The city will use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help fund the demolition of the two buildings, which has stood in the way for others who were interested in developing the property in the past.

“Usually it’s not a feasible project for them to do it all on their own,” said Community Development Director Troy Klecker. “That’s where we partner up with them and try to get the project going.”  Read MORE


by Tim Krohn

The Mankato Free Press

Date: December 6, 2012

MANKATO — The biggest downtown development project in recent history is being proposed, promising to transform a downtown block, bringing a multi-story office tower, a five-story retail and apartment building, and a parking ramp.

Mankato development firm Tailwind Group is hoping to start construction on the $15.8 million project in the spring.

The office six- or seven-story 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 located. 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.  Continue reading HERE.


Minnesota State University, Mankato Alumni Publication

Date: Spring 2012

Flight image The Maverick Flight Team is flying high thanks to the generous support of RentMSU, a Mankato business focused on providing off-campus housing for students. A recent $5,000 gift from RentMSU will sponsor the flight team in a national competition in Selina, Kansas. Through the Power of One, RentMSU is helping our aviation student’s dreams come true. Read more about the flight team on page 7. For more information on how you can help students, contact Jeff Halbur at or (507) 389-5327. Photo courtesy of Maverick Flight team.


By Tim Krohn, Free Press Staff Writer

The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: February 19, 2012

Construction projects in Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter are under way or in the planning process.

Three of the projects are being led by Mankato developer Kyle Smith. He purchased the former Happy Dan’s gas station on Commerce Drive in North Mankato and the former Oasis on Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter.

Both are being converted to commercial properties. In St. Peter, the building was removed. In North Mankato, part of the building was kept and will be remodeled and expanded into a 4,500-foot space.

Smith said he has two of the three spaces leased in North Mankato and some tenants lined up for the St. Peter site. Both should be done this summer.

Read the entire article HERE.


The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: October 27, 2010

The Greater Mankato Business Awards & Hall of Fame winners have been announced by Greater Mankato Growth and the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. The honorees are:—Downtown Detail: Pita Pit/Rent MSU (Owners: JoRae Galli and Kyle Smith; Architect: Brunton Architects).

The awards will be given out at an event from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Read the entire article HERE.


by Dan Linehan

The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Date: June 26, 2009

MANKATO Mankato’s planning commission unanimously approved a 92-house student housing development Wednesday over the objections of parents who said it was too close to the forthcoming Rosa Parks Elementary School.

You probably couldn’t get a more different land use than college housing and an elementary school, said Brian Maciej, who lives nearby.

But the commission noted the school district has no objections to the development, and city staff said there’s no glaring violation of city code.

The development’s style is a first in Mankato for student housing. It consists of a series of three-to five-bedroom houses, some connected and others free-standing. A wall rings the entire 17-acre subdivision, which is located southwest of the intersection of Pohl Road and Timberwolf Drive.

Read the entire article HERE.