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Recycling better than rubble

May 8, 2012
Estherville Daily News

A great thing happened this week when the former Nash Center - a beautiful brick building with a storied past - was moved to a new location and a new life.

Mike Clarken bought the building and relocated to the site where a duplex burned down last winter.

In its previous life, the Nash Center served as a convent and later as offices for St. Patrick's parish. It was a wonderful use for the building, but like all buildings, when it sat for a while it was subject to maintenance issues.

The church's decision to sell the building was a good one. It was a far better decision than letting it sit idle. And it was done in the spirit of providing extra housing for the community.

Equally good was Mike Clarken's decision to buy the building and use it to construct six, two-bedroom apartments. Clarken said the apartments will be just shy of the size of some homes on the north side of town. The brick building is very attractive and the apartments should draw the sort of tenants who are looking for more upscale housing.

It's a win-win for both parties, and it's a win particularly for the community of Estherville that will be able to point to an excellent, attractive apartment building as the sort of place young singles and couples could start a home - and possibly a family.

Hopefully, this will serve as an example of what's possible in Estherville.

Could the upstairs levels of downtown buildings be turned into spacious - and elegant - living quarters with a view?

Is there a new use for commercial buildings that might be empty?

Could empty infill lots in the city have potential as duplexes or town homes?

These are all options available to us.

Now let's see what we can do with them.



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