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Wednesday - May 16, 2018 6:14 pm

City of Winona not worried about land buys

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City leaders in Winona don't mind waiting for an answer about why an Indiana company keeps buying up land downtown.

Rock LLC is buying up land along the Winona riverfront, spending well above market value for the properties.

Some of the same land had been considered for a city renewal project, according to community development director Lucy McMartin.

"It was, many years ago in a comprehensive plan, this area was identified for downtown development but we haven't pursued acquisition in this area," she said.'

As for the supposed secrecy as to what Rock LLC plans to do with the land, McMartin says that's not really the case.

"I think it's very normal for a developer to work on assembling land," she said, "and when they're ready to come forward with a plan that they then communicate with us about that."

And to guarantee it gets the land it wants, Rock LLC has been willing to pay a price.

"When you're working to assemble different parcels of land to come up with a larger parcel, it isn't unusual to me to pay someone higher than value depending on what you're end goal is and the size of the property that you need," McMartin added.

Still, the acquisitions in Winona have attracted attention for months. And all that Rock LLC has said about its acquisition, only saying "It's going to be really cool."

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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