Developers install lights on top of the Confluence Hotel

Workers place cupola lights on top of the Confluence Hotel showing progress of the downtown development project. A lighting ceremony for the cupolas was held July 15 during Rivertown Days. 

The Hastings City Council unanimously confirmed an amendment to extend the deadline of the Confluence Development Project that is renovating the former Hudson Manufacturing complex into a hotel, apartment and commercial space to account for setbacks due to the pandemic.

“I think the overall message is that throughout the last 16 months since March 2020 when the world turned upside down, we’ve been working, we’ve stayed committed to this project,” Project’s co-developer Mike Mattingly said.

The Confluence Development began in 2016 to transform the Hudson Manufacturing Company Factory in downtown Hastings into Great Rivers Landing, which will include apartments, a boutique hotel, restaurant and commercial retail spaces.

The hotel and restaurant will be managed by IDM Hospitality of Madison.

Mattingly said they lost a large investor in the project a few days after the global pandemic was declared because of the pause on all hospitality projects.

Developers then came up with a phasing plan to continue the development during the shutdown while financing the project in phases.

They are currently finishing up phase one of the project which includes restoring the shell of the building.

“That work was mostly completed in the fall of 2020 and some of that work has continued in the spring and into the summer of 2021,” Mattingly said.

Developers were able to secure new investors in May 2021 and are now working towards returning to full-time renovations, according to Mattingly.

“We plan to show quick and constant activity on the site,” he said. “Both from a construction standpoint and from a marketing standpoint.”

Back in 2016, developers signed a “purchase and development agreement” to convert the old Hudson Manufacturing building into a hotel and residential space, Hastings Community Development Director John Hinzman said at the council meeting.

“The purpose of that agreement was to set the perimeters for transfer of the building and expectations for performance for both the developer and for the city,” he said.

The development agreement set dates for interior work on the building to be completed, but due to the pandemic, the project was not able to complete the work in time, Hinzman said.

Project developers asked for an amendment to Confluence at the July 6 council meeting to account for pandemic setbacks and workforce concerns.

The amendment calls for Confluence to complete construction by Oct. 31, 2022.

If not completed by that date, developers agreed to a minimum assessment agreement that would tax the property at value of their Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, agreement, which is about $5 million dollars, according to Hinzman.

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“This really says to me that Confluence is confident within the ability of this project to be completed within a timely fashion,” Hinzman said. “Because if they did not, entering into this agreement may put them into some jeopardy.”

Confluence developer Pat Regan said is quickly ramping up this summer on the project.

A new roof was added and topped with a cupolas light and a parking lot will be laid down within the month, according to Regan.

Remaining shell work, like exterior paint and window installation will be completed through the upcoming fall and winter, he said.

Regan said the Confluence will also launch their social media platforms in August to provide consistent updates on the development.

“A lot of exciting elements to the brand, for the Confluence, to the restaurant and apartments are going to really start taking shape here in the next 60 to 90 days,” Regan said.

Written By

Reporter

Sophia Voight is a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette. She is from Oshkosh, WI and graduated from the UW Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2021. She can be reached with any news tips at svoight@orourkemediagroup.com

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