Commerce Drive, room for improvement.



Upper North Mankato has one main section of commerce called, unsurprisingly, commerce drive.

As you can see above, North Mankato essentially said “forget it” when it comes to any type of push for non-auto orientated development. It’s spots like this that cause cities to go bankrupt maintaining infrastructure that gives them little to no return on the massive investment they have made.

If planned traditionally, or even with parking in the back, the whole lot of this could have fit into about a tenth of the space.

A couple of these buildings are now abandoned. There was a bank and a restaurant with a drive through which have yet to be redeveloped.

My favorite is the arrow head building in the upper right corner, which was apparently built by an enthusiastic introvert as his own little “place away from it all.” This building is now seriously underserved as well.

There are some meaningful, high returning buildings up there however. There’s a small strip mall that does well, a Walgreens (which I think is the next “local shop” wave) and a Kwik Trip. Assumedly it exists so you have enough gas to traverse the acres of parking up there without landing on E.

Room for improvement to say the least. I think this area would be a great candidate for sprawl retrofit.

About Matthias Leyrer

Matthias Leyrer is a resident of Mankato looking to restore a fraction of its old glory. He writes about the economic, aesthetic, practical and financial issues facing the city of Mankato going forward.