Owatonna riverfront project a ‘game changer’
A downtown Owatonna riverfront project seven years in the making is expected to break ground next spring.
Partners in the city’s first mixed use complex, a $27 million project, include Redline Development Group, Mineral Springs Brewery, and West Bank. The City of Owatonna has also proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance.
The project area is bounded by North Oak Avenue, West Vine Street and the Straight River, including a city-owned parking lot and the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) building on Ted Ringhofer Drive.
Mineral Springs Brewery will occupy space on the river side of the main floor, an area three times the size of their current location on North Walnut Avenue, with ample space for indoor and outdoor seating.
Redline Development partner Scott Mohs said that four floors of luxury apartments–70 units–will offer views of the Straight River and the city. He expects those to go quickly, as has been the case with similar local projects.
Apartments will have hanging metal decks, nine-to-ten-foot ceilings and upgraded finishes, as well as heated, underground parking and possibly electric car charging stations. Mohs said the partners are “not one hundred percent sure” about the price range for those units.
Redline will seek out a mix of retail and office tenants for the remaining 20,000 square feet on the first floor, Mohs said.
“We’re really trying to create a space where people can live, work and play,” he added.
The OACCT board of directors has voted unanimously to sell the property. Chamber offices will move to a building at 120-122 South Oak, President Brad Meier said. Two business currently in that location will move to a space in the 300 block of North Cedar.
OACCT board chair Todd Trout said the Chamber also wanted to be respectful of the Ringhofer family; Ted Ringhofer was active in the community and served as OACCT president for 29 years and on the Owatonna city council for 24 years.
Ted Ringhofer Drive will likely be relocated as part of the project. Trout said a conference room in the new space will be named for him, with indoor and outdoor signs.
Owatonna Community Development Director Troy Klecker said $500,000 of TIF proceeds will cover the purchase of city-owned property.
Demolition is expected to begin in the spring, with project completion in late 2024.