At Tuesday’s Redwood Falls City Council meeting, the councilors approved a proposal from Redwood Falls Industries to purchase two parcels, totaling over 300 acres, that could be used for new housing and industrial development. Both parcels are located near the southeast quadrant of Redwood Falls, near the new Carris Health – Redwood facility currently being built.
Data from the City’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan and other sources indicate a low inventory of available residential building lots limits construction of new single-family homes. At the same time, the Redwood Falls rental market has an occupancy rate of approximately 96.7%, indicating a strong need for additional rental properties.
Redwood Falls Mayor Tom Quackenbush stated, “Shortage of housing is a crisis for rural Minnesota. Today the City Council took an important step to address this crisis.”
The City’s Comprehensive Plan also addressed the need for a new industrial park in order to strengthen and diversify our economy by retaining and attracting businesses that offer quality employment. To help assist the City, Redwood Falls Industries initiated efforts with a landowner, and approached the City with a proposal to acquire the necessary property.
Rick Thielen, Redwood Falls Industries President, stated, “Redwood Falls Industries is pleased to partner with the City to initiate a development opportunity that addresses the long-term needs of our community.”
Funding for the land purchase will come from a portion of the proceeds retained from the ownership transfer of the Redwood Area Hospital to Carris Health. The Redwood Falls City Council previously designated the funds to be used for capital projects that would be an investment in the growth and development of the community. Acquiring the housing and industrial development sites fulfills the Council’s intended purpose for the funds.
The next steps in this process include completing an engineering analysis to determine cost estimates and infrastructure design with site planning and preparation beginning in the spring of 2021.