WINONA, Minn. — Southeast Minnesota officials aren't sure why an Indiana company has spent more than $3 million acquiring property in their area.
Rock LLC has bought six properties in Winona since December, including a stained glass studio and a lumber site, the Winona Daily News reported. In some cases, the company paid more than four times the estimated market value for a parcel.
Local officials haven't had much contact with the company and aren't sure what it plans to do with the land near the area's interstate bridge.
"It looks like they're just piecing property together," said Steve Sarvi, the city manager. "We're not sure what quite for. We're sort of in the dark like everyone else."
Sarvi said Winona has zoning control and that city officials look forward to eventually speaking with the company.
A staff member from the Winona County Assessor Department spoke with the group last year when they began buying properties, said Stephen Hacken, the county assessor.
"We have a standard set of questions, and right off the bat, they were asked what their plans were," Hacken said. "They said 'We'd rather not say, but it's going to be really cool.' That's what my employee was told."
Rock LLC's Indiana-based agent, Robert Weaver, said he's signed a nondisclosure agreement and can't share information about plans for the land.
"What I've consistently said through the whole thing is that it's good for the city of Winona, and it's good for the downtown," Weaver said. "There will be more details coming in the not-too-distant future."