By Reg Chapman

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — The city of Hastings is hoping the redevelopment of one of its oldest buildings along the Mississippi river will help bring attention to its historic downtown.

Ownership of the former Hudson Manufacturing Building was transferred from the city to a development company that’s planning to make it the jewel of the Hastings Riverfront.

It’s something you cannot replicate.

A historic building, sitting on the banks of the sharpest turn in the Mississippi River.

“You come over the bridge you’re able to see this as you first come in and we thought this is just a tremendous site that we needed to be involved in,” said John Hinzman.

Community Development Director John Hinzman says he knew the renovation of this building would mean positive change for the city of Hastings.

“You can’t even build buildings this close to the river anymore so that was the big key for us to want to keep the building, is we wanted to be able to have people that could be right on the river,” Hinzman said.

After a massive environmental cleanup, the city was ready to get things moving, on expanding its riverfront from one end of downtown to the other.

The city picked Confluence Development to transform the site.

“A boutique hotel and a small number of apartments that will be very unique and special, those will be the spaces closest to the river,” said Pat Regan.

Confluence Development’s Pat Regan says retail and an event center on the bottom of the building will brings crowds to downtown, activating it to another level.

The project will also develop park land that will showcase river views, and all the boating, canoeing and fishing on nearby Lake Rebecca.

“You don’t find three blocks of historic buildings everywhere,” said Pam Denning.

The goal is to bring attention to Hastings’ historic downtown, that features stores owned by locals.

“One of the reasons why we’re actually  opening this is just we have so much love for our town,” said Amy Fox.

Amy Fox will open Spiral Brewery in a building that has been part of downtown Hastings since 1901.

Its opening will be the first since prohibition.

“Actually there were four, at one time four breweries in Hastings so really we’re looking to forward to bringing Hastings back to its brewing roots,” Fox said.

The redevelopment will provide a welcoming gateway to historic downtown Hastings. Most of the work should be done by December 2019.

The old bank building across the street from the redevelopment site will be demolished to make way for parking.

Hastings hopes this will help attract overnight visitors to its historic downtown area.

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