Planning panel gives a nod to apartments, restaurant | News, Sports, Jobs


An artistic rendering of the old renovated Ben Franklin building at 126 N. Minnesota St. The New Ulm Planning Commission has approved a permit allowing the addition of four apartments through a vertical addition. The building will also host a wedding hall and a restaurant.

NEW ULM – Four new apartments in the downtown business district were approved by the New Ulm Planning Commission on Thursday.

The commission approved a permit to allow four apartments to be located at 126 N. Minnesota St. The property is located in a business headquarters (B-3).

The building on this property was constructed in 1971 and consists of four different levels and was historically used for retail purposes but has been vacant for several years.

The four apartments would be in a proposed vertical addition to be built on the roof of the existing building. There will be two apartment units located on the 2nd floor and two units located on the 3rd floor.

Eric Bode applied for the permit on behalf of Zen Franklib, LLC. Bode has proposed to build an approximately 2,222 square foot two bedroom apartment and a 460 square foot studio on the 2nd floor. On the 3rd floor, the applicant proposes to construct two-bedroom apartments of approximately 2,222 square feet and 2,908 square feet. On the 2nd floor, the applicant also plans to build a restaurant and a roof terrace. A conditional use permit is not required for these uses.

The use of the first floor of the building will be used as a venue for wedding events.

Staff recommended approval of the application because the proposed use is the same as other downtown properties. There has been continued interest in residential units above first floor buildings and apartments are already on the second floor of downtown buildings.

The Planning Commission had further questions on the organization of the building. All four apartments would be located on the upper floors, but a restaurant would also be located on the upper floors. The restaurant was approximately 1,900 square feet including the kitchen with seating for 22 people.

Bode said this rooftop patio will be used for an additional restaurant three seasons a year. Space was also available for wedding venue business.

Bode further clarified the business of wedding events and the restaurant was two separate business entities operated by different people. The roof terrace would be shared between both Friday and Saturday at weddings. The restaurant would also have separate hours during the rest of the week to use the patio.

A side entrance on the north side of the 2nd street of the building will allow access to the restaurant by a staircase and an elevator.

The wedding venue on the lowest level would also have a catering kitchen. It is not a full kitchen but would be a gathering place to bring food to wedding events.

Bode confirmed that he had tenants ready for the entire building. The wedding business and the restaurant were full. There are also four tenants planning to move into the apartments.

Commissioner Mike Furth brought forward a motion to recommend approval of the permit. Furth praised Bode for finding a way to use an empty downtown business.

The motion was unanimously approved by the committee.

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A permit has been granted to allow the Career Technical Education Center (CTE) in the General Industrial Zoning District at 200-226 North Valley Street and 201-211 N. Front St.

The aim of the CTE center is to provide high school students exposure and access to technical careers available in the region, to enable students to obtain credentials / certifications before leaving high school and to provide space for adults to grind or acquire technical skills in a particular trade or technique. career.

Staff recommended approval of the request. The city previously authorized the installation of educational institutions in industrial zoning districts.

Commissioner Larry Mack had questions about how the students would get to the center. District 88 Superintendent Jeff Bertrang said students who can drive can drive to the facility. The neighborhood would also provide a shuttle bus from the school. The center would operate in the evenings for adult students and could possibly operate on weekends.

The commissioners unanimously approved the permit for the CTE Center.

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