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Local progress

Hevern details forward moves on 700 building, federal government project, and more

March 23, 2020
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The 700 building at 700 Central Ave., a project of Estherville Area Partnership for Growth, is getting closer to completion. Lyle Hevern, economic development director for Emmet County and Estherville, said with the weather improving, work crews were able to finish installing the glass faade and the plywood shelter has been removed. Progress continues inside on sheetrock. The building is designed for two businesses and two loft apartments.

Hevern said Estherville native Jeff Robinson and a group of investors has been working for about two years on the Department of Defense tech manufacturing project slated to start building at the industrial park in Estherville. Hevern said a crucial meeting in Washington, DC, has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"Jeff [Robinson] received the official documents, which of course take forever to complete, and we turn them in Friday [March 20]. This step was a long time in coming," Hevern said.

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Hevern said EAPG is working with a manufacturing company and looking at several local sites. Robinson is also the fund developer for this project.

"As with all of [Robinson's] projects, he funds them with the caveat that they locate in Estherville. I'm optimistic that this project would employ a lot of people at good wages," Hevern said.

Hevern reported on solid progress with a new pharmacy. Friday, Andy Spurgin of Estherville announced Estherville Pharmacy would open later this year in the former Godfather's Pizza building. See the Estherville News story on the pharmacy.

Hevern said EAPG was in the initial stages of supporting an apartment complex described as a market rate facility for workforce housing, and working with a local business to find land on which to build. Saturday, EAPG held a social-distancing open house to attempt to sell the spec house.

Hevern said, "This will be an interesting year, and a progressive one."

Council member Ann Goebel said, "It's about time for some of that good news."



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