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Artspace groundbreaking featured local musicians, artists, businesses

Lots of people got to throw the first bit of dirt at the Artspace groundbreaking ceremony, held Tuesday afternoon.1 / 6
Local band Banjo and the Bear performed before the ceremony. 2 / 6
Hastings artist David Cook showed off some of his latest art, made of litter he picked up around the Mississippi River and Chicago.3 / 6
All the art shovels were on display at the ceremony. Artspace representatives said Hastings produced the most art shovels they’ve seen out of all their projects.4 / 6
BreakAway Arts Cafe brought its beverage cart out, serving cold coffee and beverages. The cafe, part of BreakAway Arts, is currently under construction.5 / 6
Heidi Zimmer, senior vice president of property development at Artspace, gave the welcome speech.6 / 6

Artspace saw a strong turnout for its ceremonial groundbreaking event Tuesday afternoon.

Artspace is about to begin construction on a new development at the corner of Tyler and Second streets in downtown Hastings. The building will feature 37 affordable live-work units for artists, as well as outdoor green space, an art gallery space and public retail space.

Although the event did include speeches by a number of key people, as well as the traditional shovel ceremony, the event grew well beyond those terms.

Local band Banjo and the Bear performed for the audience prior to the speeches. Shovels decorated locally were on display. Local artists’ work was set up for viewing. Local businesses provided complimentary refreshments.

Construction will last about one year, and units should be available for lease toward the end of next summer, in 2017.