Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota recently opened a new retail store in Alexandria, Minnesota that created 40+ jobs! As a mission-driven developer, we appreciate the opportunity to partner with the investor and the Goodwill team to bring this project to fruition.
Jill Blashack Strahan and Joani Nielson of Copper Leaf Properties, LLC, are in discussions with the Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) to redevelop the Old Broadway Property in downtown Alexandria. The project represents a three-way public/private collaborative effort among Copper Leaf Properties, HRA and ORB Management Corporation to create the first mixed use development in this area for decades.
The proposed multi-level, multi-use structure includes retail and public/private office space on the first floor and residential units on the second floor. The development will create efficiencies for several public agencies, including HRA and Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC), through use of shared office space and common areas. Other goals include addressing the need for additional workforce housing and attracting/retaining private business and retail tenants downtown. The plans also provide outdoor spaces and amenities for public use.
ORB Management Corporation along with HRA Director Jeff Hess and AAEDC Director Jason Murray, recently presented conceptual plans and financial pro forma information to the HRA and AAEDC Board members for review. The goal is to move forward so that physical construction can run concurrently with the planned Broadway Street improvement project in 2014.
“We are excited about the strategic vision for this vacant property and having it converted to a meaningful use that benefits the community,” noted Joani Nielson of Copper Leaf Properties. “This collaboration among private businesses and the HRA offers a unique means of creating a space that contributes to the vitality and growth of the downtown area.
” HRA Director Jeff Hess added, “This project reflects a trend for multi-purpose, mixed-use development that we’ve seen succeed in other metropolitan areas in recent years. It will be a valuable addition to downtown and will complement the Broadway redevelopment plan.”
The Cook County Community YMCA project – a collaboration between the City of Grand Marais, Cook County, ISD 166 and the Duluth YMCA – began 10 years ago as a dream to build a Community Center in Grand Marais. As the project moves into the final stages of construction, all are excited for the facility to open its doors later this winter.
On Friday, September 20, 2013, the Itasca County Family YMCA Advisory Committee named ORB Management as their Owner’s Representative for the planning, design and construction process of an expansion and renovation of their existing facility in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
This project is a unique collaboration of the YMCA, ElderCircle, the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital. It will include an Active Living Center, clinic space, Adult Day Stay area and improvements to key YMCA program spaces. The Advisory Committee’s goal is to have the $4 – 5 million project up and running by fall of 2014.
Betsy McBride, Executive Director, on behalf of the Advisory Committee, stated that ORB was selected because the company has: 1) an outstanding track record advising on other YMCA projects; 2) the leadership skills and ability to align multiple stakeholder groups with common, unified goals; 3) shared values with the YMCA; and 4) demonstrated care for people and safety over care for just a project.
Tom Wacholz, ORB’s President, will facilitate and lead the project planning, design and construction processes with the Construction Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the YMCA, City of Grand Rapids, ElderCircle and the community at large. According to Wacholz, “Qualifications bring opportunities. It’s the intangibles that create trusted partnerships and lasting relationships. Equipped with our passion for excellence and the YMCA mission, we are excited to help the Itasca Y and the Grand Rapids community expand their mission through this facility investment.”