by Logan Gruber
Colleen Hollinger Petters, Jon Petters and their team at Collegeville Cos. have been working on a new development in town for a while, and now they’re able to break ground on it. Bayou Flats Lofts, along with a restaurant and brewery, will soon be taking shape across from city hall on College Avenue, and just across the alley from La Playette. Later, Alley Flats Condominiums will be built in the alley between College Avenue N. and First Avenue NE.
Collegeville Cos. received approval from the St. Joseph City Council Nov. 13 for Tax Increment Financing, or TIF – a way to subsidize redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects with public financing. The council approved a maximum of $647,000 to be available for Collegeville Cos.’ use in this project, during the next 19 years or less. The money is meant to help offset the cost of redevelopment. The planned-unit development, or PUD, has also been approved by the council.
“We plan to begin construction by putting footings in in November or December,” Hollinger Petters said in an interview with the Newsleader.
She said there will be a groundbreaking, though the time and date haven’t been set.
The construction will take place at 24 College Ave. N., the current location of a single-family home previously owned by Peggy Loso. The house and land surrounding it will be turned into a three-story building containing a brewery/tap-room and restaurant, along with 10 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments collectively named Bayou Flats Lofts. A parcel of land to the east, on the alley between College Avenue N and First Avenue NE, will be turned into Alley Flats Condominiums, a three-story building – with a rooftop deck – containing four condos for purchase. That construction will not happen until at least three of the condos have been spoken for. Currently, only one has a deposit placed on it.
“[The residents and businesses] will add to the vitality of downtown,” Hollinger Petters said.
As of press time Wednesday, a restaurant had not signed a lease to operate in the building.
“We have a couple of different companies interested . . . we just don’t have the restaurant locked down yet,” Hollinger Petters said.
She did say a brewery/tap room has been signed on, but she wouldn’t release the name of the owner and the establishment yet. The brewery will not serve food, but people will be allowed to bring in their own outside food.
“You’re not competing, you’re actually adding business,” she said.
Hollinger Petters explained a person could bring pizza or a burger from another restaurant into the brewery and enjoy the food along with a brew. Root beer will also be available.
“He wants a family atmosphere,” Hollinger Petters said of the brewery owner.
Besides the new buildings, one old building will be maintained on the property. The original Loso homestead is currently a storage shed, but Collegeville Cos. hopes to turn it into an artist gallery and studio. Hollinger Petters said if an artist approached them and was willing to put in some work to help create the space, they would be interested in hearing from that person.