To the editor:
The news of the Marktplatz Mall's unpaid bills and unsettled ownership draws attention to the shortage of professional business office space in New Ulm. Lost in all the claims and counterclaims is the fact that businesses like ours have paid utilities, rent and maintained their spaces in professional condition throughout this debacle. Any closure of the mall will bar us from gaining access to space for which we've paid rent and all support costs including parking privileges in the Mall lot.
Currently, in New Ulm, the Mall is one of the only properties where a company can operate in facilities that are relatively new, have high speed internet and have terms and conditions conducive to supporting a viable, professional business office. Nearly all the other business space in town is old, requires substantial remodeling ($50K is a minimum), and has ownership who want 5-10 year lease guarantees or who have priced their property at real estate values that are not in line with the market.
We're fighting to stay in New Ulm because of the great work force we've hired and the support we've found from the financial and business institutions on main street. Yet, every headline about the Mall closing brings offers from the city of Mankato that are attractive and full of incentives.
My hope in writing is that those who want New Ulm to have a vibrant, thriving business community will take a hard look at what those outside the community can easily see once they review the office space situation around town. The number of old, empty spaces and buildings that have been for sale for years should be warning signs to city officials and the business community. The Mall's problems may be an interesting drama about the owners and the city and county to some but to me the situation is an embarrassment to the business community of a city with so much to offer.
Archery Trade Association