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Top 10, No.9: Future uncertain for block's last Victorian home

The disputed home at 621 W Fourth St. sits beside a new parking lot, mid-construction, for Goodhue County Health & Human Services. Sarah Hansen / RiverTown Multimedia

The city agreed to purchase the last remaining home on the 600 block of West Fourth Street, but those plans fizzled when the inspection turned up an encroachment that could cost the city more money.

The City Council allowed its purchase agreement to lapse on Aug. 15 with a mind to re-enter negotiations at a later point. However, city officials now say it's unlikely they'll be the next owners of 621 W. Fourth St.

The city had agreed to purchase the property for $350,000, but once the purchase failed to materialize, the building went back on the market with an asking price of $375,000.

It was rumored that Goodhue County intended to purchase the property if the city's bid failed, but commissioners' interest, so far, has not led to a purchase agreement for the home.

Goodhue County Administrator Scott Arneson added that the county's intent is to acquire properties on that block as part of its "plan for parking and/or potential long term expansion in the area."

Another home on the block was claimed by fire in 2015, and its neighbor on the corner of West Fourth Street and West Avenue was demolished this year to make way for a parking lot. The last remaining home currently houses Bremseth Dental.

The home's potential purchase stirred a lengthy debate among Red Wing residents, from those hoping the city's intervention would save the historic building, to others afraid that the city's unclear intentions with the property might lead to an undesirable use.

Goodhue County currently owns a majority of the north half of the block, and the county has begun constructing a parking lot for the nearby Health & Human Services building.

"With the fires and demolitions, and now the parking lot, the context of this half block has really changed for this last remaining house," said Red Wing City Planning Manager Steve Kohn.

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