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City officials hoping for development

By Staff | Nov 9, 2009

Nearly 13 acres of land owned by an Iowa business group located along Highway 169 has sat idle for several years.

Now, local officials are trying to see what can be done to help spur development at the location.

Blue Earth Mayor Rob Hammond and Doug Uhrhammer, executive director of Go Minnesota, recently met with Darren Tietz, owner of BARCO Development in Algona.

Uhrhammer says the meeting held in Blue Earth lasted about one hour and was productive.

“I left the meeting feeling really positive. We wanted to know what can we do to make it more attractive for them to develop that site,” he says.

The 12.5 acres is zoned for commercial and retail purposes.

Tietz says he’s talked with various businesses and groups looking to build or expand, but a sluggish economy has investors wary of taking on any new projects.

He says Blue Earth officials are being proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to economic development.

“I still believe in Blue Earth. We just have to find the right users for it,” Tietz says.

To date, there have been three projects on the BARCO property — AmericInn, McDonald’s and Lamperts — that totaled a little more than 50 acres when Tietz purchased it from family members in the mid-1990s.

To read more of this story, see this week’s Register.