“Long slog. Long slog,” developer Bill Beard joked after Mayor Gene Maxwell cut the ribbon Thursday at the Marketplace & Main development in downtown Hopkins. “We probably have the record for the most extensions.”
The Beard Group’s mixed-use development at Seventh Avenue and Mainstreet certainly faced its share of hurdles. But just a couple months after first welcoming renters, it has nearly filled all its units. The building has just four units left for rent—an occupancy rate well in excess of 90 percent.
The ground-floor retail space has not yet been rented, though. Developers, including Beard, have said retail is still a difficult proposition in the current market. Those overseeing the nearby Klodt Development on Eighth Avenue, for example, have echoed that concern.
Still, the mood was one of optimism Thursday as city officials, TwinWest members, Beard Group leaders and Marketplace & Main staff gathered to celebrate the opening of a long-awaited project.