Chamber working hard on business developments

The Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce is smack dab in the middle of several Lyon County improvements, housing and commercial developments.

Executive Director Cal Brink Tuesday told the Lyon County Board work continues on the Ralco/tru Shrimp development; K-Mart building development, a possible new hotel and the proposed Parkway III project.

Brink introduced Tara Onken, Discover Southwest MN Partnership economic development director, who indicated she hopes to, “Accelerate the story of our rural communities.”

She used the City of Tracy as an example with a re-cap of the community. Having worked directly with the Tracy Economic Development Authority.

“Tara is not new to the team, but new to the Marshall team,” said Brink.

“She’s concerned with the development of the entire area, not just Marshall,” said Brink about Onken’s involvement.

Onken indicated the information on Tracy included household income distribution; number of housing units; population and recent accomplishments in Tracy such as a demolition of the Masonic Building; Hospice future building of a four-unit complex in Tracy on land donated by Larry and Bonnie Buysse and the recent purchase of John’s RxDrug by Lewis Family Drug.

As for current projects, “We did have a big meeting with Ralco to make sure we understand what their plans are,” said Brink.

He said Ralco is putting together plans on what “Commerce Park” will look like under their current plan.

“They are 100 percent committed to Marshall,” said Onken. “They are full speed ahead on interior updates and a parking lot,” said Onken. “We are working with them,” she said.

“We’re working hard on bringing a motel to Marshall. Ideally it would be near the (hockey) arena,” said Brink.

“We don’t own that land,” he said, indicating the chamber continues to work with owners to develop a hotel at the site.

“We are working on a hotel,” Brink added. “We have had to turn down tournaments because we don’t have the room and we are concerned with the quality of hotels,” Brink said.

Onken said other locations can be looked at for a hotel, but, “That (at the arena site), is the number one priority.”

“Another thing we have been working on is Parkway III. We’re working with a developer to build three, 36-apartment complexes, for a total of about 108 rooms, depending on the development,” Onken said.

“We have a need for upscale apartments and minimum rental apartments,” Brink added.

He said the Parkway III project (on Parkway Street), could fit both needs.

“We’re not coming close to filling the needs for the huge demand for housing,” said Onken when Commissioner Charlie Sanow indicated he didn’t like to see development competing with local developments.

“There is still enough land and need for housing,” Onken indicated. Commissioner Gary Crowley indicated he’s received a variety questions about the need for another grocery store in Marshall.

Brink indicated he expected to see development of another grocery store in Marshall in the future.

Tara Onken

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