The Normandale Mobile Home Park has been part of the City of Redwood Falls for decades.

Over the past 15 years the park has been owned by Brian Ertel of Eden Prairie.

Ertel, who grew up in Elk River, recognized in the early 2000s that he needed an exit strategy as he looked toward his future, and he knew one of the best long-term investments was in real estate.

So, he started looking around at his options and determined investing in residential housing was a good choice. After doing further research, Ertel started making inquiries and the existing owner of Normandale Mobile Home Park responded.

A deal was negotiated, and Ertel became the new owner of Normandale, LLC.

Ertel is the property owner for Normandale Mobile Home Park, but under the traditional mobile home park model most of the homes are owned by the residents who then pay rent on the property where their home stands as well as on the utilities.

For Ertel, maintaining that traditional model was not something he felt was a good long-term option, and so he began looking at other opportunities to best utilize the site. 

Ertel’s plan is to upgrade the mobile home park along Normandale Drive to include the erection of 30 new homes that would be owned by Normandale, LLC.

Ertel added the abandoned homes on the site now are planned to be removed and replaced, but he added the homes that are currently being occupied will remain.

The upgrades would also include landscaping and infrastructure improvements, and Ertel added he is also planning to add a park area.

However, all of that costs money. In fact, the estimated cost to make the upgrades to what would then be known as “Centennial Woods” is more than $3.6 million.

To help with funding for the project, Ertel has submitted an application to the Minnesota Workforce Housing Development Program in the amount of $761,313.

That application was submitted last week.

Prior to submitting that application, Ertel needed to receive support from the City of Redwood Falls.

That support was approved by the city council during its Jan. 7 meeting. Under that approval, if the funding is allocated to the project, the funds would pass through the city.

The application also requires a city match of $385,000, which would be met through the establishment of a TIF district.

Ertel expressed his appreciation to the city and Redwood County for their assistance.