WINONA, Minn. – The price tag for the Winona Mall has dropped. Sources said that the mall owner, John Alexander, has agreed to $4.3 million, down from $4.5 million. Alexander, a Winona real estate dealer, bought the floundering retail property in 2017 for $5 million in hope of reviving it as shopping center. The current offer is from the Winona-based Hiawatha Valley Education District as part of a $19.5 million project to consolidate its far-flung southeast Minnesota operations. A sale, however, isn’t a done deal. The 12 southeast Minnesota school districts that Hiawatha serves all need to sign on.Deb Marcotte, Hiawatha’s executive director, told KIMT tyat eight of the districts have agreed but four member districts have yet to commit: “School financing is a little bit complicated, and special-ed adds another layer of complication,” she said. Hiawatha currently is headquartered at the Bundy Boulevard industrial zone in Winona. Hiawatha has 74 employees, some of whom travel to outlying school districts, some of whom work out of the Bundy offices. Some students are driven to Winona for their individualized instruction. The goal, Marcotte said, is a single renovated space for special-ed services, professional development, and district meetings. If all goes well, she said, Hiawatha would have the mall renovated for the Fall 2024-2025 school year.
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