Article by: Bryce Lange
In the City of Mabel, MN, there is a new building standing tall near the steam engine grounds. In early 2018, the Mabel EDA and the City of Mabel awarded a bid to Tollefson Construction, a local contractor, to construct the city’s first business incubator building. The purpose of the incubator building will be to help Mabel’s startup businesses test the market by leasing the building, before committing to buying or building their own building in the City. The incubator will also assist businesses that have good ideas, but a lack of financial backing.
The City of Mabel recognized the opportunities that exist within their City, and decided to play a proactive role in business development. Projects like these are very capital intensive, however, Bryce Lange, the CEDA team member in Mabel, was able to facilitate discussions and partnerships with both the Mabel Telephone Cooperative and MiEnergy Cooperative for bond financing that offered lower interest rates than the private market could, which ultimately helped the project cashflow.
The building was finished and ready for use on September 17th, 2018. The first tenant is Nisse Treehouse, a current childcare provider in Spring Grove, MN. Darcy Thorson, the owner, has stated that she has had numerous families interested in sending their kids to the facility in Mabel, long before the building was even completed. The incubator building, for childcare purposes, will be able to accommodate approximately 60 children.
Many Mabel residents believe that the incubator’s first tenant couldn’t have been a better fit for the community. Lange stated, “in most greater Minnesota cities, finding daycare providers is one of the largest challenges. Having a daycare facility or not, could mean the difference between a young family moving to one city or another.” Recognizing this challenge, the City of Mabel hopes to keep the ball rolling in terms of development and hopes to ramp up interest in housing developments and other business development in the area.