Hot property: H.D. Hudson Building in Hastings

  • Updated: November 11, 2011 - 12:49 AM
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Hudson Building, Hastings

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H.D. Hudson Building 114 W. 2nd St., Hastings

Type: Historic reuse Size: About 80,000 square feet Owner: Hastings Economic and Redevelopment Authority

The rebuilding of the Hwy. 61 bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Hastings has prompted reuse plans for the historic H.D. Hudson Building, a nearly two-block-long former manufacturing plant just south of the river.

The oldest parts of the structure form a backwards F and were built in several phases beginning in 1914. An addition jutting from the building toward the river came in 1946. A final addition, constructed in 1974, is expected to be torn down in the redevelopment scenarios now being studied.

The city's Economic and Redevelopment Authority purchased the property last year with the goal of reusing the historic complex as a possible mix of retail, housing or hotel uses. The structure is in a prime location, next to the Hwy. 61 river crossing, which the Minnesota Department of Transportation is rebuilding in a $120 million project.

The complex is now vacant after the city struck a deal with H.D. Hudson Manufacturing Co. -- maker of commercial sprayers and sprayer systems -- to relocate to a 100,000-square-foot facility elsewhere in the city, Hastings Community Development Director John Hinzmann said.

The Transportation Department razed a portion of the riverside complex, built in 1966, in connection with the new bridge, prompting the company to consider relocating. The state funded a reuse study carried out by Stark Preservation Planning and Claybaugh Preservation Architecture that was released this month. In it, the preservationists offered reuse scenarios that could be presented to potential developers, including a hotel, Mississippi River tourism uses, boutique retail, rental and for-sale housing, high-end office space and restaurants.

"We're going to be patient with this project because we see it having potentially national significance," Hinzmann said.

The effort may have to wait until the end of bridge reconstruction in 2014 before gaining real traction, he added.

Don Jacobson, a freelance writer based in St. Paul, can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@ gmail.com.

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