Let’s in-fill New Ulm first

To the editor:

Before New Ulm annexes valuable contiguous farm land for housing, let’s in-fill the city first. I confess to little knowledge of real estate, construction, zoning, tax policy or the economics of land use. Nevertheless on May 22 I drove around the city and observed hundreds of opportunities for new housing construction within the city limits.

I drove only the north/south streets in most areas of the city:

• In my neighborhood there are about 10 vacant lots in the 800-900 blocks on the north side of Cottonwood Street. And 10 or more unbuilt lots in the Dakotah West Addition.

• On the city’s north/south streets I observed 112 lots without structures. (I suspect an equal number would be found on the east/west streets.) Many are lawns, trees, and gardens, but would the owners be willing to sell?

• Dozens of empty lots along Pfaender Drive.

Some other observations:

• The west side of the 1400 block on South Broadway (formerly Potter Implements) is vacant.

• Perhaps the former Pizza Ranch could be converted into apartments.

• The east side of the 1300 block (Origo) on South Valley in Goosetown is vacant. There is an empty square block at 1800 South Minnesota. The southeast corner of Broadway and Fourth North is available for development.

• The second and third floors of downtown buildings could be adapted to living quarters.

Plus there are numerous houses for sale now, and numerous building lots for sale now. Also there are a few obvious tear-down possibilities.

If one were to accept the status quo then I suppose many of these opportunities would have negatives. But let’s explore them all before we declare the situation hopeless. Where there is a will there is a way.

George L. Glotzbach

New Ulm

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