Downtown Hutchinson is an essential part of our city’s economy. In recognition of this, the Hutchinson EDA along with the City Council and the Hutchinson Downtown Association (the HDA) has put a lot of emphasis on revitalizing and enhancing the downtown. Since 2003, there has been over $12 million in new public & private investment in downtown Hutchinson – and more is on the way!

Creating a “Sense of Place”

One essential element in downtown revitalization is giving Main Street a “Sense of Place.” Dr. Kent Robertson, the late community development expert from St. Cloud State University, identified seven key elements that are essential in giving a downtown a “sense of place.” These are:

  • Distinctiveness from other commercial settings
  • Multifunctional
    –Multiple destinations in one compact place (govt./services/park/housing/dining, etc.)
  • Pedestrian Friendly
    –Compactness, safety & design are key elements
  • Unique Heritage
  • Human activity – people are present!
  • People are encouraged to linger
    –Area is safe / exciting / attractive/things to see & do / places to sit!
  • Community ownership

All of the projects underway or being planned are intended to help create this downtown “sense of place.” In doing so a healthy, dynamic, vibrant downtown Hutchinson will be ensured for many years to come.

Downtown Projects


State Theater

On September 7, 2005 a cherished piece of Hutchinson’s past came back to life – the historic State Theater! The Hutchinson EDA played a key role in this project from the very beginning. Working closely with the new owners, the EDA pulled together a financial package exceeding $1.5 million to make the restoration of the building possible. Included in the funding package was a loan from the EDA’s downtown loan fund and a redevelopment TIF District. You can see the results every night in downtown Hutchinson!

Jorgensen Hotel

After being vacant for many years, Hutchinson’s historic Jorgensen Hotel has been renovated and is once again a center of activity in downtown. The first floor of the building is now the home of the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and also houses an attorney’s office, a chiropractor and an oral / facial surgeon. The second and third floors of the building will be renovated in future phases of the project.

The Hutchinson EDA provided a low-interest loan to help with the renovation of the building as well as grants for the new signs & awnings.

Cornerstone Commons

The EDA is excited to announce that the Cornerstone Commons retail and professional office center is now completed. Smokes4Less, Snap Fitness, Dunn Bro’s Coffee, and a United States Marine Corps recruitment office have already located here along with some professional offices on the second level. Office and retail space is available in the building. Questions on leasing may be forwarded to Gus Wurdell, Southern Prairie Development at (612) 750-4018 or email Gus.







Liquor Hutch Expansion

Hutchinson’s liquor enterprise is an important source of revenue for the city – helping to keep property taxes down. By 2004 the business had grown to a point where the existing facility was no longer adequate in terms of size and layout – an expansion was needed. After considerable research and debate, it was decided to expand the existing facility on Washington Avenue. Because of the project’s importance to the downtown, the Hutchinson EDA provided staff assistance for every phase of the project – from site selection & hiring of the architect to selecting the contractor & project coordination.

Downtown Streetscape
Along with the Hutchinson Downtown Association, the EDA spearheaded the development, adoption and implementation of the downtown streetscape initiative. A key element of the Downtown Revitalization Master Plan, the streetscape provided an opportunity to link an urgent necessity (existing streetlights & wiring was worn out) with a desire to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the downtown. The result is a considerably brighter, safer and more appealing Main Street.

Southwest Initiative Foundation
The Southwest Initiative Foundation has honored our community by choosing Hutchinson as the location for its new permanent headquarters. Located on the corner of Highways 15 & 7, the new 10,000 square foot facility serves as the nerve center of the Foundation’s community development activities for all of southwestern Minnesota.

Summary of Downtown Investment 2003-2008

In 2002 the Hutchinson EDA provided $168,000 to fund the creation of the “Downtown Revitalization Master Plan” – which was designed to map out the future of our community’s downtown. Since that plan was completed, more than $12 million of new investment has taken place in downtown Hutchinson.

Downtown Investment
EDA Loan & Grant Programs
55 Low Interest Loans $1,135,150
44 Storefront Matching Grants $123,322
 80 Sign & Awning Grants  $147, 129
Jorgensen Hotel Private $1,000,000
State Theater Private $1,800,000
Cornerstone Commons Private $2,215,000
Liquor Hutch expansion City $1,800,000
Streetscape City $1,670,000
Southwest Foundation Private $3,000,000
Total $12,800,601


Downtown Financial Assistance

To promote the continued vitality of downtown, the city’s EDA has created several incentive programs designed to encourage continued investment in the downtown area. These include a Sign and Awning Grant Program, the Storefront Revitalization Matching Grant Program and a Commercial Rehabilitation Loan Program, which provides low interest loans to property owners to assist them in renovating their buildings.

For detailed information on each program, simply click on its title.

Future Directions

Washington Avenue Streetscape
Scheduled for 2010, the two blocks of Washington Avenue between Main Street and Adams Street will be completely reconstructed. As part of the project new streetlights, sidewalks and landscaping will be added. Finally, a roundabout will be constructed on the east end of Washington Avenue at the intersection with Adams Street – this will improve traffic flow & safety and mark the eastern boundary of downtown.

Downtown Gateway
Finally, the Downtown Association and the EDA are currently working on the “Downtown Gateway” project, located on the site of the old pet clinic on the north end of Main Street – just across from Wells Fargo Bank. As funds become available, an informational kiosk will be put in that will provide information about downtown businesses, landmarks and attractions as well as maps of the city’s park & trail system. In addition, a short crushed rock trail will be added along with a significant piece of public art – most likely a large wall mural on the north side of the old dry-cleaner building. Lastly, a public restroom will be added. The goal is to create a gateway to Hutchinson’s downtown as well as a landmark & meeting place that will become a regional landmark!

Revitalization Master Plan for Downtown Hutchinson

In the early 2002, the Hutchinson EDA commissioned the Hoisington-Koegler Group to identify and develop a long-range plan for downtown Hutchinson. The goal of the plan is to maintain the small town charm of the downtown while at the same time providing a shopping and business environment that is appealing to a diverse group of people.

A number of these projects have been completed or are currently underway, and several are in the planning stages. A number of specific initiative were identified by the plan; some of the highlights are:
Functional Initiatives
Bluff Street entry into downtown
Franklin Street stop signs
Public Realm Initiatives
Bluff Street Streetscape
Main Street & Washington Avenue Streetscape
Market Pavilion
“Gateway” portion of the Crow River Commons
Public Sector Initiatives
New Liquor Store
New Post Office
Community Performing Arts Center
Franklin & Hassan Street “relievers”
Alley improvements
Private Sector Initiatives
State Theater
Hutchinson Hotel
Riverfront Housing
First Avenue Housing
South Franklin Street Housing