Housing development meeting on Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2000

A public meeting on a proposed housing development north of 12th Avenue NE will be next week.

Friday, January 21, 2000

A public meeting on a proposed housing development north of 12th Avenue NE will be next week.

Email newsletter signup

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

The proposed residential development in Lansing Township is across 12th Avenue NE from Hangge Addition and west of 21st Street NE (Mower County No. 61) and the nature center.

David Wellstone, the developer, will be present to answer questions and discuss his plans for the residential development on the 55-acre site.

A speculation home is being constructed at the corner of 11th Street NE and 8th Avenue near the Mower County Recycling Center. It is not known at this time if that same type of house would be constructed on Wellstone’s property.

The area, now a farm field, is a wildlife corridor for the nature center.

Twelfth Avenue NE was a disputed street that separated the city of Austin and Lansing Township down the center of the roadway.

The township refused to join the city in improving the roadway, leaving the city to make minor surface repairs last year.

The city of Austin’s own housing needs have been widely publicized in recent months. Affordable housing throughout Mower County also was a priority mentioned frequently by the Mower County Board of Commissioners’ long-range strategic planning committee at a public meeting Tuesday night.

The city is experiencing a "building boom" of new residential housing in the private sector and essentially in the greater southwest area along 16th Avenue SW and Austin Acres.

Meanwhile, low- to moderate-income housing developments have been pursued by the city through the Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Projects near the former Whittier Elementary School in southeast Austin and across 21st Street SE (U.S. Highway 218) from Austin Municipal Airport are among the newest.

The issue of affordable housing reached its zenith when workers were brought to Austin to take jobs at Quality Pork Processors Inc. by Metro-Temp Employment Agency Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa.

Not only was there no housing immediately available for the workers, but the quarters – a farm home in Lyle Township south of Austin and a former motel in Lansing Township north of Austin – proved inadequate.

The Hormel Foundation responded to the need by announcing a $5 million challenge to the city of Austin to address housing needs.

Wellstone, a son of U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) has been unavailable for comment about the proposed residential development

Sources say Wellstone is linking with two unidentified Austin realty firms to market the proposed residential development.