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Great River Landing project brought back to council

A proposed transfer date of the former Hudson Manufacturing site has been for Jan. 22, 2018. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
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Plans are moving forward to turn the last industrial property on the riverfront in downtown Hastings into a mixed-use space.

City Council will vote at the Jan. 2 meeting whether or not to approve four actions related to the sale and development of the former Hudson Manufacturing building located at 200 W. Second St. They will also decide whether to authorize a parking ramp use agreement for the former First National Bank building at 119 W. Second St.

A closing date for the transfer of the former Hudson Manufacturing building to Confluence Development has been set for Jan. 22, 2018. The transfer of the building has been delayed in the past, most recently related to environmental remediation projects that took longer than expected.

The bird's eye view rendering of Great River Landing is the latest in the proposed project. Courtesy of City of Hastings"We've been working at this for quite some time, so it will be nice to have the property transferred," said John Hinzman, community development director for the City of Hastings.

Under the revised agreement for transfer of the property, three pre-closing obligations have been eliminated as a condition prior to the sale but must still be completed after transfer. The State Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service must approve construction of improvements and historic tax credits. The city would be responsible for two environmental obligations after the property has been transferred, including the Vapor Intrusion Mitigation System installation and the sealing of PCB contaminated wood joints and ceilings. The cost of the two items would be about $792,000 for the VIMS installation and $150,000 for the sealing. The city has several grant requests pending to offset costs. They have already received a total of 19 grants to assist with acquisition, demolition, environmental cleanup and site amenities.

Confluence Development proposes to create Great River Landing which would renovate the 100,000-square-foot building into a hotel, apartments, and a 20,000-square-foot retail and events space. The former First National Bank building was proposed to be turned into a parking ramp. The top level of the ramp would be open to the public.

The Confluence partnership involves local resident Pat Regan, developer of Schoolhouse Square, and Bill Weyland of City Properties Group of Louisville, Ky.

During a discussion at the Dec. 18 City Council meeting, Regan said even with the delays they are still 100 percent committed to the project.

"We are fully committed, we have done a lot of work on our plans," Regan said.

The developer's plan consists of a 67-room hotel, 22 apartments or short-term rental units, a banquet facility, a restaurant, and other miscellaneous commercial uses.

Mark Vaughan, chair of the planning committee, said while the project has been a long process, it was expected with it being a historic building. However, he said the city is fortunate to have a developer and staff dedicated to making it a priority.

"As final agreements are made, transfer of property from the City of Hastings to a great visionary company on January 22 will be an exciting day," Vaughan said.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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