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Owner of First Street property invites community investment

Michael Arndt has a new idea for encouraging the redevelopment of industrially zoned properties along First Street in Hudson.

In a visit to the Star-Observer last week, Arndt said he is in the process of forming a limited liability corporation to develop his property at the corner of First and Commercial streets and purchase other development properties.

The 53-year-old owner of the former Hudson Elevator property said local residents would be able to purchase stock in the development company.

"I'm talking about selling shares in not only the deed to my property, but others that we will attempt to purchase," Arndt said.

Arndt purchased the old feed mill in the early 1990s. It sat empty until the city forced him to tear it down in early 2004. The old wooden building had been damaged in a fire several years earlier.

"I arrived here with a dream, a plan, and a synergistic attitude to participate in what I saw was an opportunity," he said. "What I did not foresee was the absolute unwillingness of key individuals within this community to participate in, or support in any way, an improvement to this district."

Arndt said he isn't interested in rehashing old arguments, however, but hopes to lead a community effort to develop the riverfront in a way that won't ruin its beauty or Hudson's historic charm.

"I'm talking about something extraordinary here," he said. "I'm here to announce that I still have a dream for this district. The opportunity still exists. That window is open now. I have what I believe to be the approach for allowing it to flourish - and that, very simply, is community involvement.

He said people interested in joining his development corporation should watch for contact information to be posted at his First and Commercial street property.

Randy Hanson can be reached at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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