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Demolition schedule slows as project gets another design review

These buildings will be demolished to make room for a 12-unit apartment complex in Hancock. File photo/Hancock Record

As part of the update from the Hancock Economic Development Authority, Hancock Mayor and HEDA member Bruce Malo said the demolition of several buildings on Sixth Street as part of an apartment complex project won't happen as soon as city officials believe.

Demolition was expected to start this month or in May.

The project is a joint venture between the city of Hancock, Stevens County and Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation, the parent company of Community Development Bank in Hancock. Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation is building the complex

Malo said at the April 4 Hancock City Council meeting that MMCDC is still working with an architect on the design for the building.

"(MMCDC) is attempting to draw something on the lower level that can appear more retail," Malo said.

"They want more of a downtown look, urban downtown feel...," HEDA and city council member Annette Kratz said. "It will be exciting to have an actual plan to look at."

Malo said Hancock resident Jen Boon attended the HEDA meeting to share concerns about the demolition of older buildings in the city. She'd like more buildings preserved, Malo said.

"She just hates to see old buildings torn down," Malo said.

"So do I," council member Jeff Kisgen said.

"We all do," council member Jeff Flaten said.

City officials said it's difficult to preserve old buildings and some contain hazards such as asbestos.

Malo said because the design of the apartment complex is not yet completed, "(MMCDC) is in no hurry to demolish the buildings."

Also, the building next door to the Holleman Fitness Center will be demolished, Malo said.

Malo said there was a misunderstanding when it was believed Holleman was expanding the fitness center with that next door building