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Developers Aim to Fill Rental Gap
Local developer beginning construction on three apartment buildings.
Tim Krohn, Mankato Free Press, 3-10-2012
Bob Casselman is bullish on the rental housing market in Mankato, particularly around the Minnesota State University campus.
Casselman has owned apartments in Mankato for 32 years and owns the sprawling 336-unit Southridge and Briargate student apartment complexes near All Seasons ice arena. He’s beginning construction on three buildings that will add 108 more units.
“The campus (area) was effectively 100 percent leased last fall. We ended up with a waiting list of 75,” Casselman said. “ We have every reason to believe that’s where we’ll be next year.”
The demand for student housing will increase next fall as MSU closes the 1,200-bed Gage towers.
Mankato Community Development Director Paul Vogel said housing studies show ongoing demand all across Mankato-North Mankato.
“It shows quite a bit of demand, particularly for workforce housing — one- to three-bedrooms aimed toward single professionals, married couples and small families,” Vogel said. “And that’s where we’re getting the most interest from developers.”
At least part of that increased demand comes from the fact finance requirements are tighter, pushing people to delay buying their first house.
Some of that demand will be met by a 60-unit complex going up on Sibley Parkway and a 72-units development to be built near Hiniker Pond. In the past nine years Mankato has issued an average of 282 housing building permits per year — 80 percent of them for single-family homes.
During the same period, the city saw an average of 57 apartment units built each year.
A survey conducted for the city last year found virtually 100 percent occupancy in multi-family rental properties in Mankato, North Mankato and Eagle Lake.
Casselman, who owns self-storage businesses in the Twin Cities, has some other rental properties with Mankato being his major holding.
His new development — The Preserve at Southridge — will be constructed on grassland next to Southridge.
The first building constructed will be a 30-unit three-story apartment building with balconies or patios off of each unit. Units will be available between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1.
Construction will begin later this summer on a second 30-unit building and a 48-unit building that will be available for the 2013-2014 school year.
Renters will have access to the swimming pool, volleyball and basketball courts, and the new disc golf course at Briargate/Southridge.
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