NEW ULM -The Hope and Healing Center was transformed into the New Ulm Event Center with Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, bringing a new chapter to the building's history.
Mankato realtor Rich Draheim finalized the purchase of the building last Friday. He said he has high hopes for turning the location into a lucrative endeavor.
"I was very interested in the deal. There are almost no other events centers as nice as this one in the state, except for a few locations in the metro area," said Draheim.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman, Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Audra Shaneman and Chamber Willkommen Committee held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New Ulm Event Center Thursday. The building, formerly called the Hope and Healing Center, is located at 301 20th South St. and is owned by Rich Draheim (center). Also pictured is manager and event coordinator Heather Tyree, assistant manager and event coordinator Dianne Grejtak and maintenance supervisor John Grejtak.
Previous owner Cindy Christensen approached Draheim directly to purchase the center from her. He said that she requested that he maintain the existing tenants and keep the location going with its existing purpose of renting out to community events, like weddings and school dances.
All the existing tenant contracts will be maintained, and all events planned under Christensen ownership will be kept on schedule.
The only significant change for the center will be the departure of the Kids Against Hunger facility. Draheim said he planned to allow the organization to stay with no rent, but it had already made plans to move. The Kids Against Hunger site will move to a new location in Courtland, as well as set up a thrift store. The move out was completed Sunday, with the opening of the Courtland location planned for the coming days.
Draheim said he has several plans for the facility in the works. He plans to convert the back storage area into more office space to rent out to tenants. The Kids Against Hunger food processing room will become a conference space that can be rented. He also wants to bring in diverse events for the main floor, including home shows and dinner theaters.
"[Christensen] had a great idea, and I want to build on it," said Draheim, "I really look forward to working on this site."
Draheim has already hired a full staff for the center, including a full-time site manager. The center is taking phone calls as the New Ulm Event Center. Those wishing to contact the center can call 507-354-4673.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at email@example.com)