Maltery building renovation hits the wallMinneapolis-based developer John Kerwin says he's delaying indefinitely plans to refurbish the former Fleischmann Malting Co. building and is thinking of selling the maltery.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
Minneapolis-based developer John Kerwin says he's delaying indefinitely plans to refurbish the former Fleischmann Malting Co. building and is thinking of selling the maltery.
Kerwin had been working to refurbish the rundown building, located at 110 Broad St., into modern condominiums for artists.
The developer's new intentions were released in a letter from his attorney, Jim Erickson, to Red Wing Mayor John Howe.
The letter didn't state explicitly why the maltery project stalled, but laid much of the blame at the city's feet.
Kerwin's attempts at securing public assistance have been unsuccessful and he is frustrated Red Wing didn't have one "go-to" person in charge of managing the city's role in redevelopment projects, the letter states.
Erickson also wrote that Kerwin's "bank financing was thwarted by misinformation from a city official." It's unclear who the alleged official is.
Erickson said Tuesday he needed to confer with Kerwin before answering questions about the maltery project. He didn't call back before press time. A call made Tuesday to Kerwin was not returned.
Meanwhile, a number of city officials said they're all for Kerwin's redevelopment plans.
"It's a great project," Howe said.
He said he figured the rough economic times likely slowed the project down.
Housing and Redevelopment Director Randal Hemmerlin has overseen Kerwin's attempts to secure public assistance. He said Kerwin hasn't received public dollars because he hasn't meet several boilerplate conditions, including meeting state architectural guidelines and obtaining all necessary construction permits.
If Kerwin meets those conditions, Hemmerlin said the HRA and state agencies would help finance the project.
Hemmerlin said he's not bent out of shape over the letter.
"It's not that unusual for a developer, when they're frustrated, to write a letter like that," he said.
Regarding the claim Red Wing didn't have a "go-to" person to lead Kerwin through the various hoops involved with a redevelopment project, Planning Director Brian Peterson said that's something the city is looking to address in its downtown action plan.