Tuesday, January 16, 2018

(January 16, 2018, Red Wing, Minn.) – On January 8, 2018 the Red Wing City Council approved the establishment of the Downtown Investment Partnership Pilot Program to achieve catalyst redevelopment projects in Downtown Red Wing.

On January 8, 2018, the City Council unanimously adopted a motion to approve the Red Wing Downtown Investment Partnership Plan and begin working toward a collaborative pilot program. This initiative stems from the Downtown Action Plan adopted in 2009 which set forth a number of key actions including one that states: We will establish a fund-leveraging entity with the sole purpose of funding and advocating for downtown investments. The general idea was to develop a collaboration between private and public sector entities to invest in catalyst projects in downtown that will spur redevelopment opportunities and take advantage of the ongoing public infrastructure investments that are being made in the downtown area. The Investment Partnership Plan sets forth an initial Pilot Program to implement this action step.

The report makes a case for a private/public partnership to focus on encouraging catalyst redevelopment projects in downtown. Community philanthropic and city leaders agree that although downtown is healthy, there are a number of properties, buildings, and upper building spaces in the downtown area that have remained vacant or under developed for a number of years. Barriers to investment in redevelopment seem to result from three areas: redevelopment projects are complex and costly; the range of financial tools available to local governments is much narrower today than in the past; and a gap exists naturally in early downtown transformation efforts between investment demands and real estate returns. A public and private partnership could greatly help in moving some catalyst projects forward that will encourage future investments.

Over the course of the past two years, community leaders from the city and local philanthropy explored several organizational approaches, and in the final analysis decided that creating a new nonprofit organization was too costly. Instead, they recommended a program that embeds the operating structure into city government, employing a more traditional approach to public/private collaboration. The pilot for this program will proceed over a 12- to 24-month period and be a direct collaboration with community leaders to identify objectives and projects that can be supported by the various entities.

The Red Wing Port Authority will be the lead agency with the Community Development Department providing staff support and other consultant real estate services as needed. The collaboration will involve community philanthropic leaders, and other agencies and organizations will be invited to participate. The Investment Partnership will be led by a small steering committee led by the Mayor or Port Authority and involve private and public sector representatives that are mutually agreed upon by the collaborating partners. Determinations to invest in a pilot project will be made by each partner using its normal decision-making process.

After 12 to 24 months and the completion of one or more projects, the partners will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot and determine how to proceed beyond the initial period. The City Council stressed the need to have robust public engagement as the details of the pilot program and projects are identified.

For more information about the Downtown Investment Partnership Pilot Program please contact Special Project Manager Brian C. Peterson A.I.C.P. at: or at 651/385-3617 or Community Development Director Dan Rogness, at or at 651/385-3697.

Brian C. Peterson, AICP
Special Project Manager
City of Red Wing
315 W. Fourth Street
Red Wing, MN 55066

Category: Awards and Recognition