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Investors to develop South Shore Acres: Local group hopes to bring new businesses to town, annexation still needed

WORTHINGTON -- In anticipation of city leaders eventually annexing land on the Worthington's south side, a group of investors has now posted a sign luring new businesses to prime frontage property along the four-lane U.S. 59/Minnesota 60.

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An investor group has purchased 40 acres on the south side of Worthington to be developed as South Shore Acres. Plans for the property include a co-op station, including fuel and convenience center, among other possible projects. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - In anticipation of city leaders eventually annexing land on the Worthington’s south side, a group of investors has now posted a sign luring new businesses to prime frontage property along the four-lane U.S. 59/Minnesota 60.

Led by Jon Weitgenant, the group of investors - most of whom want to remain anonymous - has acquired nearly 40 acres for “ultimate development opportunities.” The property, bordered by Minnesota 60 on the south and Nobles County 57 (Plotts Avenue) on the east, has been named South Shore Acres, and will remain in farmland until development occurs.
“Our goal is to work with Co-op Energy and build a Cenex service station and convenience store (South Shore Junction) on that corner,” said Weitgenant, adding that talks are still in progress about how large the store will be and what it will look like.
“We’re not in a huge hurry,” Weitgenant said of the development. “When the highway becomes four-lane (all the way to Mankato), there’s going to be an increase in traffic. We want to be prepared by that time, if not sooner.”
While Cooperative Energy and Cenex top the list as potential developers on the site, Weitgenant said plans are to develop the entire parcel over time.
“We’ve had inquiries from people from Des Moines, Fargo - there’s interest in developing out there, whether it’s a truck sales place or tractor implement sales opportunity,” he said. “We’ve been contacted on an opportunity to put apartments out there (too).”
Weitgenant said the four-lane highway completed a couple of years ago through Worthington offers some opportunities to expand business along the city’s southern side.
“We see that highway as having some real attraction for companies that would like to have frontage to the new road,” Weitgenant said. “We feel it is really an excellent spot - a convenience for the people on the south side of Worthington and south of Worthington to have a convenience store and gas station handy.”
Before any development can occur, the city will need to annex the property and then construct water and sewer to the site.
“Everything takes time,” Weitgenant said, pointing to the fact that it will take 53 years to complete the Minnesota 60 four-lane expansion project.
Certainly, it won’t take that long to lure businesses and development on the south side of town.
“I feel that it’s going to be a fun project, and I’m looking forward to its development,” he added.
Weitgenant has been involved in investment opportunities for more than 20 years. Since his retirement from Land O’Lakes, he said he’s had more opportunities to be involved with projects.
“We’ve been in development projects in the past and we will continue to look for opportunities in the future - throughout the tri-state area,” he said.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.