Ollie’s Big Adventure

Ollie Garrison is one of the elite St. Olaf students selected to be a part of the College Board of Business Consultants. His project is to work with Mendota Homes and the NDDC on a Cooperatively Developed Plan for what has been referred to as the “Arts Building”. Ollie is looking at market studies, housing studies, demographic information and economic information as well as talking with a number of community leaders to pull together data with which to develop the plan.

Last Friday, Ollie travelled up to St. Paul to meet with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to participate in a preliminary presentation of the project.


It’s a complicated project; it’s what is known as “mixed-use”, combining residential space with commercial space. In this conceptual stage, it is envisioned that there will be 42 residential rental units and almost 10,000 square feet of commercial studios. Ollie summarized by saying “At this point in my research, all findings are good and all indications are supportive of this proposed project”. The guy’s a natural.

After the meeting, Ollie visited a Mendota Homes development in Lowertown known as Lot 270. He looked quite at home in one of the loft units. Perhaps he’s got plans for after graduation.