Here’s What’s Coming In May

Every month there is a packet that comes out called the “Site Plan and Traffic Advisory Committee.” This usually makes its way on to the city website way before planning commission or city council packets and gives us the best idea of what’s coming to Mankato in the coming months. I like to distill that info into a quick little article so you don’t have to download the 100+page packet. I don’t do it every month, and I usually skip stuff I think is irrelevant.

So, here we go.

First on the docket is “Miller Creek 1st Addition.” If you’re wondering, “Hey, is this more bullshit suburban sprawl built on greenfield way on the edge of town?” the answer would be a resounding “yes.” Our appetite for paving over cornfields seems to be insatiable as we build more and more vinyl housing that’s likely to fall apart within half a century.

Here’s the site plan and where it’s going:



The old Meyer and Sons building at the corner of Mulberry and Broad St. is getting a new tenant and a facelift. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if the original prefab concrete walls or the new “sci-fi” metal siding is worse. Zero brick, zero limestone, tons of that generic square architecture we’ve come to know and love. I guess I’m glad that it’s not vacant… I guess.


A new tenant will be filling the long-vacant space in the Block 518 building.  Nolabelle Kitchen + Bar will the latest addition to the downtown restaurant scene. This doesn’t appear to be a franchise or chain and according to the packet they “…will be open seven days a week, Monday – Sunday, 8am – 10pm, catering to early birds with breakfast and brunch, and serving super-fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and hearty, but healthy, entrees for lunch and dinner.

If you want to see their tentative menu click here. I wish them the best in their endeavor, opening a restaurant is incredibly risky, I hope they do well.

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and School will be adding a large addition to their school and narthex. Namely for the purposes of defining their main entrance, adding security and increasing their narthex size. Churches are integral parts of a neighborhood so I’m happy to see they’re doing well.


APX Construction and Evanson Concrete will be building a new building next to the old Verizon call center. No real problem with this as its straight industrial and basically just a box in an industrial area with utilities already existing.


Finally, Echo Food Shelf is doubling down on their ridiculously stupid idea that more parking will somehow feed more people. In what will eventually be prime land downtown, their proposing to knock over a perfectly good building (built in 1896 and was housing a chiropractor) to make sure that people have an easier time to park. I’ve written about this before in another article.

Go ahead, leave your hate, I don’t care. Echo food shelf is wrong and you won’t convince me otherwise. Taking out historic structures, that pay taxes and house businesses, to put in parking for a nonprofit is the antithesis of what we should be doing in our downtown district.

I’m glad to see you’re wisely spending $300k on a parking lot instead of using it for, ya know, food. 




 

About Matthias Leyrer

Matthias Leyrer is a resident of Mankato looking to restore a fraction of its old glory. He writes about the economic, aesthetic, practical and financial issues facing the city of Mankato going forward.