April 18, 2024

Housing Finance Development

It's Your Housing Finance Development

Mankato student housing project clears TIF hurdle

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Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato will have a new option for housing in the 2025-2026 school year, as a new apartment building from University Square is being planned right next to campus.

The City Council approved the development at its Feb. 12 meeting, though approval for a tax increment financing district around the property will be considered at its April 22 meeting. The city’s planning commission passed a resolution at its March 27 meeting, confirming that the property becoming a TIF district would fit the city’s comprehensive plans.

The property, previously an AMC movie theater, will be redeveloped into a five-story, 63-unit apartment building. The building will feature 12 one-bedroom units, 4 three-bedroom units and 47 four-bedroom units.

“The catalyst for the redevelopment … has been the demise of some theaters that have been an important part of the interplay, but the exhibition of movies has declined significantly with the influx of streaming,” said David Peters, president of Terratron, which owns the property.

To facilitate the redevelopment, Peters said, they are removing six auditoriums and adding in mostly three- and four-bedroom apartment units, with a grand total of 215 beds in the entire apartment. These higher density dwellings are to “keep the economics favorable to the students,” Peters said. It will also have one bathroom for every bedroom.

As far as price goes, Peters said he isn’t sure on specifics, but it will be on the higher side of the market because it is so close to campus. The property, located at 1600 Warren St., is about a five-minute walk from the Bresnan Arena, where the university’s basketball and volleyball teams play.

“They’re new and they’re very proximate — a student doesn’t necessarily have to have a car, they can just walk right to campus,” Peters said.

Peters said he hopes to start construction on the property in May and finish by July 2025. The group is evaluating bids from contractors but has not picked a builder yet.

Terratron requested a TIF district as a way to offset some costs. Staff recommended approval of a development district, which is needed for TIF, because the development is urban and the area around the proposed district includes commercial property. The comprehensive plan of the city also includes designating the area for mixed-use.

Peters called the redevelopment a “serious project for more serious students.” It will include a fitness center, study rooms and bike storage — amenities that are intended to help students focus on their health, as well as school.

“We consider every student to be a guest in our project,” Peters said. “We’ve had focus groups and what’s really important to them — it’s been more focused on health, wellness, the ability to study and have social space.”

This isn’t Terratron’s only development in Mankato. The group is also developing the four-story, 89-unit TownPlace by Marriott Extended Stay Hotel, which it expects to start building this month.

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