A Mankato-based development company is planning to upgrade a Rochester student housing complex it recently purchased for $2.2 million.
The Tailwind Group, a property development and management firm, bought Evanston Heights at 830 21st Ave. S.E. on Nov. 14. Tailwind owns and manages a number of student housing and commercial properties in Mankato.
"Our plan is to re-face it, remodel it, re-name it and re-brand it," says Landon Smith, one of Tailwind's four owners. "It has been deteriorating for a while. Our goal is to get it more up-to-date and more attractive. Amenities are important to today's students."
The 27-year-old Evanston Heights has five buildings on 6.6 acres with a total of 60 housing units. It's located near the Rochester Community Technical College's campus and traditionally has been home to RCTC students.
It has struggled in recent years compared to its heyday. It sold for $2.8 million in 2000. The next time it changed hands in 2006, it sold for $4.27 million.
Smith estimates that Tailwind will invest around $2 million to renovate the faded facilities. This will be Tailwind's first project in Rochester.
"Our main focus has always been student housing, so it's a safe play for us. It's close enough to Mankato, so we can still manage it," he says.
While the firm has many projects in the works in Mankato, the Evanston Heights deal is sort of an experiment to test the waters here.
"Rochester's an exciting community, so we thought we'd try it out," says Smith.